Red Bull Arts Detroit to Present Final Show in Eastern Market Space

‘Monolith’ features work by local women and queer artists and practitioners
monolith - red bull arts detroit
Lauren Williams is among the creatives presenting work in Monolith. Above is William’s work ‘Making Room for Abolition 2 (2021).’ Digital media. // Image courtesy of the artist and Red Bull Arts Detroit.

After 10 years in the city, Red Bull Arts Detroit is ending its artist residency program and closing its physical space in Eastern Market. Monolith — an exhibit made up of site-specific installations created by women and queer artists and practitioners from Detroit — will be the last show at the gallery.

On view from Oct. 8 through Nov. 5, the exhibit is curated by Jess Allie and features creatives Lauren Williams, Jova Lynne, Maggie Nguyen, and Lauren Williams. Monolith explores themes such as incarceration, grief, reproductive rights, and technology, and according to a press release, “interrogates monolithic forces in everyday existence and encourages us to consider how we work towards cultivating a collective future.”

Williams, the artist-in-residence at the Detroit Justice Center, will present “Living (Room) Artifacts: Moving toward Abolition.” The installation — created to mimic a domestic space — is meant to spark thought and conversation around what stands between us and abolition. Meanwhile, with “Hopes Garden,” Lynee gives a glimpse into navigating memory, loss, and grief in honor of her late mother, Hope. The installation was created using photography, video, and large-scale objects.

Blackmore’s “Undue Burden” installation series focuses on policing sexuality and includes large-scale sculptures, photographs, literature, and her film Mandatory twenty-four hours (minimum) in a hotel room, which looks at how punishment is imposed on those who are pregnant and seeking reproductive healthcare. Rounding out the exhibit, Nguyen presents “Sympath,” an interactive code and instrument installation. The work is centered on the relationship between technology and human emotion.

Red Bull Arts Detroit will hold an opening reception for Monolith at the gallery from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 8. Artists and curators will be at the event, and refreshments will be available. Other events for Monolith include a self-possession ritual led by Blackmore at 9 p.m. on Oct. 30 and A Cathartic Exercise in Rage — an event open to Black folks that focuses on expressing rage — at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4.

While it’s closing its space at 1551 Winder St. after Monolith’s run, Red Bull Arts Detroit will continue to present digital projects through the end of 2021 and will partner with local organizations in 2022 — including Art Mile and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. The Red Bull Arts Detroit team also plans to donate its equipment and materials to local groups.

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