A struggling economy, a population exodus, huge swatches of blight and abandonment, and a flurry of artists moving in to respond and fill the gap. Sounds like Detroit but it actually describes Zimbabwe, too. So just how do artist respond to similar circumstance -- from one continent to another, from an entire country to a city, and from the visual arts to song to the written word, and beyond?
Find out at Public Pool’s upcoming show Kumusha
, running Sept. 14 -- Oct. 19. Kumusha,
the Shona word for home, displays the results of cultural exchange happening through a digital portal in separate but identical bedrooms –- one in the new Zimbabwe Cultural Center of Detroit and another in the new Detroit Cultural Center of Zimbabwe.
For one installation, artists received photographs of scenic views from the collaborating city, and turned them into drawings in postcard format. For another, a video recording of Zimbabwe singer Hope Masike sings Eminem’s I’m Sorry Mama
, inspiring a response from Detroit singer Monica Blaire. In another, Chido Johnson carves on the living room floor of the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre in Detroit, turning the house into a printmaking woodblock. This is a reproduction of an image carved by Admire Kamudzengerere onto the wooden floor of a house in Harare, Zimbabwe. A radio station, films, t-shirt screenprinting, Dj’d mixed tapes and more are all part of this ambitious project.
opens on Sept. 14 with an opening party. Public Pool patrons are also encouraged to visit the Detroit Portal at the Zimbabwe Cultural Center of Detroit throughout the run of the show.
Public Pool is at 3009 Caniff, Hamtramck.