No need to wait until the new year to make good on that resolution to be more cultured: There's still a little time left to catch two exciting contemporary art shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
UMMA opened the doors of its New Media Gallery in August with "Day Is Done," a sweeping video project by Mike Kelley, an LA-based artist who was born in Detroit. In "Day Is Done" Kelley culls from found yearbook photographs to create disturbing scenes.
Eventually the work will have an episode for each day of the year. At UMMA, you can see 31 episodes that depict what Kelley calls "socially accepted rituals of deviance."
"My interest in popular forms wasn't to glorify them because I really dislike popular culture in most cases," Kelley said. "All you can do now really, is say, work with this dominant culture, I think, and flay it. Rip it apart, reconfigure it."
Watch this video from Art21 to get a preview of "Day Is Done" and hear Kelley talk about his work.
Mike Kelley: "Day is Done" is on view at UMMA's New Media Gallery through Saturday, Dec. 31. Hours: Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec 31: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor. Free, with $5 suggested donation.
MOCAD finishes 2011 with two complementary shows, "barely there (part two)," following the first installment of "barely there" from this past spring, and "Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)."
"barely there" was curated by former MOCAD Director Luis Croquer and has an amazing line-up of artists, with favorites like Francis Alÿs, Frank Capra, Yvonne Rainer, Paul Ramirez-Jonas and Francesca Woodman. The work in the show "focuses on the body as a generator of knowledge, memory and as an instigator of social, political and spiritual change and as capable of leaving invisible traces to mark space," according to MOCAD.
French artist Stéphanie Nava's first solo show in the U.S., "Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)," is a sprawling yet intricately-detailed installation that creates her own version of an English Victory Garden. Growing your own vegetables and herbs was encouraged during the World Wars I and World War II as an act of patriotism, and Nava's recreation recalls the time period while critically looking at the history of urban gardening and greening movements.
See images from MOCAD's shows below.
"barely there (part two)" and Stéphanie Nava: "Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)" are on view at MOCAD through Friday, Dec. 30., Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit. Free.