New MOCAD Exhibits bring Denmark to Detroit
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is unveiling four new shows this season, each highlighting an artist from or currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark. John Kørner is bringing his large-scale, multisensory exhibit Intercontinental Super Fruits, which explores grocery stores as the ultimate cultural exchange. Artist Jeannette Ehlers will bring the site-specific installation Take Root to MOCAD, collaborating with Detroit artist Halima Cassells along the way. Take Root explores, through visual art and film, how Black women have built networks of support “while also revealing how haircare is embedded into various cultures across the world, specifically within the global African diaspora,” a release about the exhibit explains. South Korea-born, Denmark-based interdisciplinary artist Jane Jin Kaisen will bring her lens-based work (think photography, experimental film) to the museum. The schedule is rounded out by the first museum solo exhibition of work by the artist Hannah Toticki, who explores how our workwear can reflect, as MOCAD puts it, “how capitalism affects social relations and personal identity.” The exhibits open Oct. 21 and run through Jan. 9. See mocadetroit.org for more info.
Two must-see shows at the Majestic
The Majestic Theatre is set to welcome a duo of on-the-rise acts you’ll want to catch before they start playing larger venues. First up is Jungle (Oct. 15), the U.K. production duo that makes an insanely slick version of modern disco. Their Loving in Stereo album, released earlier this year, was a perfect soundtrack for the summer, and it’s aging like fine wine into the autumn. For indie music fans out there, I highly recommend Bahamas (Oct. 24), the stage name of Canadian musician Afie Jurvanen, who has worked with the likes of Feist and Jason Collett. As a solo act, Jurvanen has parlayed his lyrical wit and catchy indie hooks into an award-winning career and will surely have Canadian fans crossing the border (COVID willing) to see him stateside. For tickets and entry requirements, visit majesticdetroit.com.
On Love & Data: a multimedia art show for our times
The artist Stephanie Dinkins has been at the forefront of exploring artificial intelligence through transmedia (read: an overarching narrative told through multiple mediums), exploring race, gender, aging, and our future histories. Her artwork has included everything from gorgeous sculptures to artificially intelligent robots that you can interact with. Her work arrives at the Stamps Gallery in Ann Arbor at a time when communities of color, including here in Detroit, are confronting and largely rejecting artificial intelligence that uses facial recognition to regulate and police them. For this survey, Dinkins will debut new and interactive installations and workshops that build on her concept of “Afro-now-ism,” a play on the idea of Afrofuturism, a decades-old philosophy and cultural aesthetic that explores Blackness and technology. This unique show merges the future with the now, bringing context to themes we’ll surely see in more galleries as time marches on. Stamps Gallery, 201 S. Division St., Ann Arbor; stamps.umich.edu. The exhibition — which runs through Saturday, Oct. 23. — is free and open to all ages.
Trauna arrives on the scene
With just a handful of singles to their name, the young, upstart two-piece band Trauna (Liz Freel and Connor Robertson) out of Grand Rapids has stolen my heart and, more important, my ears (which are connected, at least indirectly, to my heart). They’re like west Michigan’s answer to The Cardigans, the Swedish pop-rock band that merged disco with a dreamy sensibility. It’s a refreshing new sound on the Michigan scene, which was missing guitar-based pop that sounds straight out of the ’90s. While only a two-piece, the full-band sound they achieve by teaming up with collaborators is impressive. The faux-retro feel of their promo pics just adds to the vibe. “Feel a Little” and “Talk to Me” (those horns!) are must-listens. Stream music from Trauna wherever you listen to music, including Spotify and Apple Music.
Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET Detroit’s NPR station (weekdays from noon to 2 p.m.).