MOCAD facade reinstalls positive message 10 years later
Detroit — The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has a new facade, and it's spreading positivity.
Painted jet black and lit up with exterior neon letters that read "everything is going to be alright," the facade near Woodward Avenue is a tribute to the museum's 10th anniversary.
The artwork is a reinstallation of Martin Creed's exterior neon artwork Work No. 790, which originally appeared in the MOCAD's Words Fail Me exhibition in 2007, holds a new meaning 10 years later.
MOCAD Curator Matthew Higgs said the piece brought a bright light to what was then a dark corner of Woodward Avenue and sent a positive message despite the negative perceptions of Detroit in 2007.
“In 2007, I curated an exhibition for MOCAD entitled Words Fail Me. It remains one of my best experiences in 25 years of working in the art world. The exhibition
considered how different artists approached the use of language in their work, and how language is, in turn, both open and subject to interpretation," he said in a statement.
With the changes taking place in Detroit and with the Museum’s 10th anniversary, founder Julie Reyes Taubman said this was the perfect time to invite Creed to show the piece again.
"I am proud to welcome back Martin Creed's Work No. 790: Everything is going to be alright on our building facade; it anticipated Detroit’s future, and I’ve missed its optimism,” she said in a release.
The exhibition project will be completed in time for Dlectricity, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, as a major component of a series of light related visual designs along Woodward Avenue.
Higgs said Work No. 790: Everything is going to be alright was both a beacon for the show and perhaps Detroit itself.
"There is a sense of uncertainty about Creed's short text as if the work is perhaps missing a question mark. Ten years on and a lot has changed in Detroit, in my life, and at MOCAD itself," Higgs said. "I'm excited that Martin's work is returning to Woodward Avenue. And I sincerely hope that everything is going to be alright.”