Detroit is becoming a global destination for experiencing contemporary art. In 2015, the “art capital” became the first American city to be named UNESCO City of Design. Detroit’s profile of the city as a next great art hub is still on the rise. One of the events in the city to look out for this summer is Detroit Art Week.
The co-founder Amani Olu is an experienced curator, managing editor of Whitewell, author of books, who moved to the city with his family a few years ago. In 2018 he initiated DAW with Aleiya Lindsey – a former gallery manager at Red Bull House of Art. The second edition invites to self-guided tour around local studios, galleries and museums, with a curated programme of panel discussions and performances and the micro-exhibitions held in hotel rooms, curated by young curators. The latter one – Young Curators, New Ideas V, is an initiative that shines a light on the cultural, artistic, social and political transformations initiated by the creative and curatorial practices by those identifying as, woman, Black, POC, LGBTQ+ and gender-nonconforming. The selected curators will transform 12 hotel rooms at Trumbull & Porter Hotel Detroit (1331 Trumbull Ave) into immersive installations.
Identity, the body and the environment are key components in many of the works, all of which explore varying socio-personal themes, including colonialism, consumerism, sexism, gender, gentrification, gun violence, politics and relationships. By examining societal traditions and the impact of the digital world and social media, these exhibitions question and subvert our social norms.
One of the curators selected is Kasia Sobucka, Founder of Arts Territory, who has chosen to exhibit Katarzyna Perlak’s work. Perlak, a London-based, Polish artist, produces work deeply influenced by her experiences as a queer, Eastern European woman and an immigrant. Her autobiographical works tap into ideas of desires and shared vulnerabilities, collective memory and history.
“Wish Landscapes will present an intimate collage of video, installation, sound pieces and performance by Katarzyna Perlak, exploring the relationship between history, “national values” and power structures,” says Sobucka. “One of the rooms will feature
‘Happily Ever After’ (2019), a newly created video work based on the documentation of her performance ‘Polish Wedding’ staged in Wroclaw. Politics and feelings have been a driving force behind the development of her practice, and Perlak regularly explores themes of identity. The starting point for her work is often autobiographical experience, which she then expands into inter-subjective dialogues.”
With a sense of urgency and relevancy, DAW will foster provocative discussions on the most pressing issues of our time but at the same time encourage to delve into music, nightlife, and culinary experiences that make summers in Detroit so beautiful.
edited by Sylwia Krason & Contemporary Lynx
Detroit Art Week
17 – 21 July 2019
Trumbull and Porter: 1331 Trumbull Ave, Detroit, MI 48216