2008 – 2010

Resource and Nostalgia

Since 2000 I visited Detroit regularly for research, artistic production and to take extended photo series. MOTOR SHOW brings together a number of these series and assembles them around a central installation of car tires and ladders.

Like no other city, Detroit is shaped by the automobile and its industry, it is the “Motor City” and “mobility” seems to be the keyword. The car has come to represent everything from progress and desire to climate change and urban collapse. It is omnipresent but has lost its progressive potential. There is a demand of new metaphors and MOTOR SHOW proposes mobility, in the sense of people overcoming obstacles.

In 2005 Annette Weisser, Mitch Cope and I founded the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, which works exclusively with wood processed from the Tree of Heaven, a resource unfailing in Detroit. Also known as ghetto palm, this plant (lat. Ailanthus altissima) populates abandoned lots and deserted factory sites all over Detroit. The Woodshop is set up as a loosely organized network of local specialists and develops art works and commissions for international art institutions. All frames and sculptural works in the exhibition were produced by the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop.

The exhibition was realized in collaboration with Iaspis and Umeå Academy of Fine Arts.

Tree of Heaven habitats in Detroit 
Series of 9 c-prints, 122 cm × 98 – 114 cm (48” × 38.5” – 45”) 
Used toy cars 
Series of 5 c-prints, 100 cm × 70 cm (39.4” × 27.6”) 
Frames made by the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop