DLECTRICITY is Detroit’s nighttime festival of art + light that featured over 35 world-renowned and emerging artists whose cutting-edge works of art illuminated Midtown Detroit in 2014, from the Detroit Institute of Arts down to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This two-night “Nuit Blanche” festival was scheduled for Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27 in Midtown Detroit from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. Saturday night also featured the DLECTRICITY Light Bike Parade where thousands of cyclists biked a 4-mile route through Midtown Detroit, adding extra light and energy to the streets. Weekend programming also included artist talks and performances. DLECTRICITY is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and is free to the public.
In the spirit of events like the Singapore Lantern Festival and Basel’s Fasnacht, Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky have created asculptural homage to the common corner store. Hundreds of lanterns are displayed inside a storefront window to mimic a neighborhood convenience store. These lanterns, laboriously assembled by the artists, represent a cornucopia of products ranging from toothpaste to cornbread mix, as well as illuminated shop signs.
For the second night of the event the store will gradually darken, as visitors select lanterns, which are offered for free, to carry off into the festival atmosphere of Dlectricity. A sentimental version of a closingout fire sale, this work invites as many questions about the complex nature of gifts as it does about things that are sold.
Weppler and Mahovsky’s artwork focuses on the objects that comprise the background of the world. Though rooted in the tradition of still life, their art often takes the form of ‘living’ sculptures and environments that change in time. These works are intended to trace the drawn-out, effortful processes that bring them into and out of existence.
Weppler and Mahovsky will be giving away lanterns Saturday night, from 8pm until Midnight.