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.
The results of the mortgage crisis as well as ongoing economic downturns (acutely seen in the loss of neighborhoods of many depressed US towns and cities) highlights the true fragility of that most American of dreams, that of ownership of house and home. The sculpture, in its use of fluorescent glass tube lights as the structural material in the construction of a simple representation of a house, highlights this fragility, an inherently stable construct made from an inherent delicate material, a stones throw from being destroyed.
This proverbial glass house flickers its lights on and off in what at first is a seemingly random strobic pattern, eventually settling into blinking in Morse code the last lines of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, “I’ll take on the whole of them! I’ll put up a fight against the lot of them, the whole lot of them! I’m the last man left, and I’m staying that way until the end. I’m not capitulating!” The house, structurally tenuous yet determined stands surrounded by the ever threatening imagined rhinoceroses, here, perhaps no longer Ionesco’s metaphors for the perceived threat of fascism, but allusion to contemporary forces that jeopardize the house, the home, the American dream.