MOCAD to Unveil 5 New Summer Exhibits

The new shows, which feature Amna Ashgar, Damon Davis, and other local and national artists, open Friday
Amna Asghar - MOCAD summer exhibits
“52 Dates” by Amna Asghar. // Photograph courtesy of the artist and MOCAD

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit unveils five new exhibits tomorrow — four at MOCAD and one online — as part of its summer offerings. The shows, which run through Aug. 8 and feature both local and national artists, emphasize diversity by highlighting the voices of marginalized communities as they explore topics ranging from political identity to racial equity.

In her first solo exhibit, entitled Well Wishes, Detroit-based artist Amna Ashgar utilizes elements of American and Pakistani pop culture, as well as pieces from her familial archives, to create an intersectional experience that crosses cultural and geographical borders. Presented in a series of large-scale paintings, the project is intended to provoke the exchange of stories across different cultures and communities. At 2 p.m. on June 5, Ashgar will join Jova Lynn, the museum’s Susanne Feld Hilberry senior curator, on Zoom for a conversation about personal influence in art.

Cracks VII - MOCAD summer exhibits
“Cracks VII” by Damon Davis. // Photograph courtesy of the artist and MOCAD

Grief, trauma, and Black masculinity are explored in St. Louis-based artist Damon Davis’ sculptural exhibition Filling in the Cracks. Through a series of cracked concrete busts, Davis communicates the inherent hardness (and potential vulnerability) of Black life. Inspired by the Japanese practice of kintsugi, Davis’ work argues that imperfection can be beautiful — and strong. Color prints of the artist’s digital works, entitled “Digital Gods,” are also included in the exhibit. Davis will conduct a virtual talk with MOCAD Curatorial Fellow Maceo Keeling at 6 p.m. tomorrow via Zoom.

The summer exhibition series also features Jerusalem-born, Brooklyn-based artist Tali Keren’s Un-Charting project. The scrupulously researched video exhibit, narrated by a fictional 18th-century British naval officer, addresses themes of colonialism, institutionalized violence, and imperialism in Israel-Palestine. Recent interviews are combined with historical narratives to create a thought-provoking critique of ethno-nationalism. At 6 p.m. on June 10, MOCAD will host a live screening of Un-Charting, followed by a Q&A session with both Keren and Lynn.

Stupor - MOCAD summer exhibits
Stupor image courtesy of the artist and MOCAD

Meawhile, Brood — a collaboration between transdisciplinary artist Ash Arder; Afrofuturist artist Bryce Detroit; local artist collective Complex Movements; Aaron Jones, who runs an experimental architecture studio; multimedia artist Mother Cyborg; and multidisciplinary artist Reuben Telushkin — will be housed within Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead, a permanent outdoor installation at MOCAD. The mixed-media exhibit combines sounds, textiles, performances, projections, and even workshops that aim to embolden communities through art, science, and technology.

Can’t get to MOCAD this summer? Tune in virtually for the online presentation of Daily Rush – Stupor: Touchy Feely. Hosted on the MOCAD website, the virtual exhibit features video translations of print stories from Steve Hughes’ Detroit-based zine Stupor, which were self-recorded by the zine’s contributors on their own smartphones and camcorders during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, along with the new exhibits, MOCAD will continue to show Dual Vision. The showcase, which debuted on Feb. 5 with MOCAD’s winter programming, runs through Aug. 8 and features 20 original pieces created by 40 Detroit-affiliated artists.

For more information, visit mocaddetroit.org.

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