The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) continues its programmatic focus on the relationship between art, music, and politics with its new exhibition “Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance”. Inspired by the vital history of music in Detroit and the legacy of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion, “Sonic Rebellion” connects Detroit’s musical and political histories with a wide range of artworks, music ephemera, and artefacts to offer a listening space for the Rebellion’s reverberations.
The exhibition features artwork by PIPA 2010 and 2011 nominee Marcelo Cidade and PIPA 2014 and 2016 nominee Vivian Caccuri. Namely, her artwork TabomBass (2016), which was commissioned by the 32nd São Paulo Biennial. This hybrid work of art is a sound system composed of stacked speakers and subwoofers only, meaning that it only plays low frequency sounds. In front of the speakers are lit candles, which move with the displaced air and dance to the rhythm of the bass of music by artists from the city of Accra, who collaborated with Caccuri after her research in Ghana. Accra received groups of African-Brazilians after the Malê Revolt, a slave rebellion that took place in Salvador in 1835. Caccuri takes this historical background and seeks to expand connections and meanings to consider the Africa-America trajectory, proposing an encounter in which Brazilian musicians and performers improvise based on the African sounds.
“Sonic Rebellion” also connects the legacy of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion to more recent social movements, from Occupy to Black Lives Matter, illustrating threads between past protests and the unresolved racial politics in the United States today. One major thread is the role of music as a catalyst for social change and empowerment and so, the contemporary artworks in the exhibit all deal with race, identity politics, and protest in connection with music. After all, the Rebellion must be listened to and heard if it is ever to be understood.
You can see more photos of Vivian Caccuri’s TabomBass (2016) below:
“Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance”
From September 8, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Curated by Jens Hoffmann, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large, with Robin K. Williams, Ford Curatorial Fellow
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Working hours: wed, sat, sun, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., thurs – fri, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
T: 313 832 6622