February 24, 2020

DLECTRICITY Site #5: The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Since its doors opened in 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) has been a point of intersection in the contemporary arts. At the core of the museum’s mission is to educate, embolden and invigorate the Detroit community through contemporary arts. As a hub for artists and thinkers, MOCAD exhibits and collaborates with local Detroit artists, and often brings internationally acclaimed artists into the city to learn and experience it, typically resulting in a moment of convergence between that artist’s practice and the essence of Detroit. For each DLECTRICITY, MOCAD’s offerings make it one of the most vibrant sites of the festival.

The outdoor campus of the museum is spacious with a lot of wall space. Its West-facing facade sites directly on Woodward Avenue, and its East façade welcomes visitors in the parking lot. Both spots are large and have before showcased neon lights, as in the case of Martin Creed’s Work No. 790: Everything is Going to Be Alright on the West façade (2017), or video projections, like Zeynep Dagli on the East façade (also 2017). The front façade also provides plenty of wall space, and in 2017 it hosted E.S.P. TV’s You Don’t Say Much, Do You?

The Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is a landmark for the Midtown arts community, and it is MOCAD’s only permanent installation. Conceived as a work of art by the artist Mike Kelley himself, the installation is a life-size replica of his childhood home in Westland, Michigan. The interior space maps out exactly as Kelly’s Westland home, and it generously offers additional spacing for public programming at the Museum, and often houses smaller exhibitions. Like what most homes have, the Homestead has a large, spacious and green front lawn that can accommodate sculptural works or even outdoor performances. DLECTRICITY artists in the past have incorporated the Mobile Homestead into their projects, like the Munich-based duo, Mayer + Empl had done in 2017.

Other artists that have displayed works around and inside MOCAD for DLECTRICITY include Shaun Gladwell, Nicola Kuperus, Adam Lee Miller, Mikki Olson, and Sameer Reddy. We look forward to another DLECTRICITY at MOCAD!

Front entrance to MOCAD
Mayer + Empl at the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit for DLECTRICITY 2017
Mikki Oslon’s “Let’s Dance” at MOCAD, DLECTRICITY 2012