Memories of the future: Photo exhibit of the vast green fields of Detroit opens at Design 99
Opens June 27
When you think of cities or urban life in general, vast tracts of land run over by vegetation commonly known as "ghetto palms" or razed neighborhoods converted to farms normally don't come to mind. But in Detroit, there are huge areas of reforested woodlands, where homesteaders have converted old residential districts into new models for urban living. This, contrary to conventional wisdom, is not such a bad thing.
Artists are documenting the phenomena in a big way, even contributing to massive exhibitions and think tanks like the Berlin-based Shrinking Cities
project, which had a stopover at MOCAD
in 2007. People are re-thinking what it means to live in places like Detroit, and how to convert decline into creative ways to produce new things.
Photographer Corine Smith, who moved from the Netherlands to get an MFA at Cranbrook
and stayed, finding a home in Southwest Detroit, has captured Detroit neighborhoods in full bloom — not with hideous, banal housing construction, but with trees, shrubs, tall grasses and even, if you look closely enough at the masthead at the top of this page, a peregrine falcon in flight.
Thirty of Smith's prints will be on show at Design 99
(10022 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck), owned and operated by husband and wife/artist and architect team Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert. Freshly planted "ghetto palms" will be on the premises during the exhibit.
The reception for Smith's aptly-titled show Your Town Tomorrow
is Friday (June 27), 6-10 p.m. Regular store and gallery hours are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. The exhibit is up until July 31.