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September 27, 2007 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-27

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The Michigan Daily ( michigandaily com I Thursday, September 27,

The Daily Arts
guide to the best
upcoming events
- it's everywhere
you should be this
weekend and why.

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AT THE PODIUM
In brown-bag lecture
style, Jo Reger's presenta-
tion "High Heels and Vin-
tage Funk" will focus on
the relationship between
second- and third-wave
feminism in the United
States, with special
attention to fashion and
personal appearance.
Thursday from noon to
1:30 p.m. at 2239 Lane
Hall.

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For University scudents, the Ann
Arbor art scene generally consists
of the School of Art and Design and
the University's Museum of Art.
This isn't a bad thing: The Work Gallery on
State Street has a fantastic exhibit right now,
and UMMA's Off/Site gallery rarely disap-
points.
But our town's scene, the overall atmo-
sphere, is an academic, spectator one. It's
typically too transient to explore Michigan
as a source for the art itself. For that type of
cultural output, we look east.
Detroit arts are amid a rejuvenation. The
Detroit Institute of Arts- is nearing the end
of its renovations (Nov. 23, mark your cal-
endar); the steadfast Museum of Contempo-
rary Art Detroit opened its latest, wonderful
exhibit, "Words Fail Me" a couple weeks
ago; and September witnesses the birth of
a new gallery and the continued output of a
number of others.
Obviously there's plenty of art coming out
ofDetroit, and morerecentlyitrelatesexplic-
itly to its urban environment. MoCAD's first
exhibit, "Meditations in an Emergency,"
housed such innovative works as Jonathan
Pylypchuk's doll-sized slum installation
"Press a weight through life and I will watch
this crush you." Sprawling through half a
room, its building blocks the city's detritus
and debris, it created a simple allusion to
childhood and poverty. Another work used
half of an expansive wall. Discarded TV sets
facing away from the viewer formed a mas-
sive grid, with tissues hanging off each set
- the found object of Detroit, in this case a
television, is a stand in for the individual.
Assemblage works of art can powerfully
connect with Detroit, a city of failed indus-
try and unchecked urban decay. You pick up
what you can when you can. Picasso, Cornell
and Duchamp introduced the "found object"
to modern art in an academic sense, but with

ON STAGE
LSA China Theme Year
IAMAN/Daily will kick off on Friday at
the Power Center with
Chinese choreographer
Shen Wei's "Second Visit
to the Empress," a dance
and theater performance
that blends traditional
Chinese opera with con-
temporary dance. Per-
formances are Friday and
Saturday at 8 p.m. and
Sunday at 4 p.m.

Detroit its everyday quality translates into
folk art.
It would be too broad to claim that
Detroit is best matched with assemblage art.
No city is defined by one type of art, how-
ever Detroit seems to enjoy a particularly
emphasized relationship with the medium.
A sculpture carries a certain weight when it
consists entirely of debris at the intersection
of Woodward Avenue and Martin Luther
King Boulevard/Mack Avenue, a pair of
Detroit's most well-known thoroughfares.
Or more obvious still, when the colors of
all the observable debris at the same inter-
section are assembled into a periodic table
of elements ("Filter" refers to the color of
cigarette butts, "Ronald Red" to the color of
McDonald's products).
Both of these pieces are currently on
display in the inaugural exhibition "Inter-
section" at Work: Detroit, on the corner of
Woodward and MLK/Mack. The sister gal-
lery to Ann Arbor's Work Gallery on State.
Street, both galleries are run by the School
of Art and Design, the latter two years in the
making and part of the University's reaching
out to Detroit. Though not all assemblages,
the entire exhibit is based on the artists'
interpretations of that specific meeting of
asphalt.
"These streets are intersections wide-

ABOVE Alero Fregene, a researcher at Michigan, views Jack Johnson's mixed media "Perpendicular: The
Wake Up call of the Invisible People" at the new work Gallery in Detroit.

ly known by contemporary inhabitants,"
declares the placard for Ted Ramsey's
"Intersection," the exhibit's strongest piece.
"The genus loci or sense of place exists
because people know these locations and
reference them."
That "sense of place" underlies several
of the exhibit's works. The approximately
eight-foot-high tower of shellacked blue
jeans dominating the middle of the Work
floor space - with randomly assorted words
like "I have a dream," "free" and "we hold
these truths" - evokes blue-collar workers
and cheap jeans. The words, scattered pieces
of history and ideals, economically speak for
the city and its endangered aspirations.

The gallery's opening is another point
in the city's constellated art scene anoth-
er avenue for local art to find and wuild on
its identity. Though not the strongest of
opening exhibits, it nonetheless fits in well
enough with its fellow galleries. Not too far
away,the ZeitgeistGallery and Performance
Venue kicked off a new show on the same
night. The exhibit "Azutunarasharedo," its
name a combination of various letters from
the artists' names, while not expansive, is
home to several notable works. Foremost
is Kathleen Rashid's series of life-sized
masks, made of papier-mache and intend-
See DETRQIT, Page 4B

AT THE ARCADE
Go ahead, indulge your
love for electronic rhythm
games. DDR Club is
meeting at Pinball Pete's
on South University
tomorrow night from 8
p.m. until late. Asidefrom
DDR, the members will
also play DrumMania and
GuitarFreaks. Newcomers
are welcome.

A throwback to hip hop's glory days

By TED CULLINANE
Daily Arts Writer
One of the most revered aspects
of hip hop'sgolden age was itswild-
ly diverse tour lineups. For five or
six years during the late '80s and
early '90s, it wasn't uncommon to
see A Tribe Called Quest perform-
ing alongside the Geto Boys or
EPMD rocking after N.W.A.
But successive years of corpo-
rate influence have turned tours
into conventional packages of art-
ists. When independent luminar-
ies AKIR and Hasan Salaam joined
Kidz in the Hall and Redman at
The Blind Pig last week, concert-
goers experienced a throwback.
of sorts. Fists that pumped to
the revolutionary calls of AKIR
turned into hands supporting one
of Redman's many weed-induced
stage dives. As the tour makes its
way to the West Coast, fans can

expect Hasan and AKIR to add a
radical slant to an already formi-
dable lineup.
Hasan, who was asked by AKIR
to accompany him on this tour, is
known for his bass-heavy deliv-
ery and politically charged lyrics.
His debut album, Paradise Lost, is
a potent mix of honest self-reflec-
tion and spiritual upliftment.
Over soulful production from
his 5th Column crew, the New Jer-
sey native addresses everything
from slavery's middle passage
("Diaspora") to police brutality
("Allegro"). With an overarching
goal of sharing his knowledge
with others, Hasan has developed
a social critique rooted in personal
experience and historical injus-
tices.
"Empirical knowledge is dif-
ferent than textbook knowledge.
Sometimes you have to experience
something," he said. "I'm not just

reading it out of a book and put-
ting it on the paper. It's everything
together."
On his sophomore release'Life in
Black and White, Hasan draws pri-
marily on real-life situations. "The
first album was the knowledge,
this one is the wisdom," stated
the outspoken emcee. The song
"Father's Day" explores the chal-
lenges he faced as a biracial child:
"I guess you ain't consider raising
up a half a n***** / Unable to relate
to the world at odds with ya / I
had to rip your face out a couple of
family pictures / Mom's aight, you
know she ain't bitter."
The title of his new album is
not only a reference to his biracial
background but also an allusion
to existing racial divisions. Hasan
sees hip hop as a space where the
racial fears of many Americans are
See HIP HOP, Page 4B

ON EXHIBIT
Iran is sanctioned
against "official cultural
exchange" with America
- but the first "unofficial"
exhibit of several contem-
porary Iranian photogra-
phers to be shown in this
country will stay for three
months, starting this
Saturday at UMMA Off/
Site at 1301 South Uni-
versity Ave. See "Persian
Visions" through Dec. 30.

He interviews as well as he spits.

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