Shrinking Cities: Why Boomtowns go Bust

shrink2.jpgIt is an exhibition so large that it needed two museums- Detroit's new Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cranbrook Art Museum. Four teams of urban geographers, cultural experts, architects, journalists, and artists have been looking at urban shrinkage in Detroit (consequences of suburbanization) Manchester, (deindustrialization) Ivanavo, Russia (post-socialism) and Halle/Leipsig which is evidently a bit of everything.

There are over sixty works in the show, looking at how cities change and adapt.According to Mocad, "One goal of the project is to develop a better understanding of how and why population and business in these cities have declined. Another goal is to recognize ways such change can help us understand and approach contemporary urban issues. The exhibit examines both the positive and negative side effects of urban decline, and also offers the opportunity for new ideas (including an international ideas competition) to be presented."

Hugely successful in Europe, The Washington Post notes that it did not resonate in New York, but "Shrinking Cities" is deeply engaged art, passionate about moral and practical issues that don't always animate the contemporary art scene in New York. It has all the edge, the irony, the gamester play with the conventions and boundaries that one expects of a major exhibition of contemporary art in a thriving metropolitan center. But it also has gravitas.
In Detroit until April 1 at ::Mocad

Tags: Cities | Detroit


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