The Washington Post takes a long, hard look at the Shrinking Cities
exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, calling it "dense
and elemental and important."
Throughout both parts of the show -- the more sociological and
documentary pieces at Cranbrook, and the artistic "interventions" on
display at MOCAD -- there is a profound sense of the paradoxical. Urban
decay is ugly, but ruins are beautiful. Shrinking cities are emptied of
their vitality, and yet that seems to unleash unpredictable artistic
forces, and eccentricities.
It's unlikely that "Slim's Bike" (a
bicycle decorated to baroque excess by one of Detroit's more colorful
citizens) or "The Heidelberg Project" (a collection of old houses
encrusted with trash, dolls, stuffed animals, etc., by Detroit artist
Tyree Guyton) would exist except in a city too wounded to care about
suppressing its creative and anarchic instincts. Just as nature abhors
a vacuum, the spectrum of creativity abhors gray spaces.
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