MOCAD Gala Opening Afterparty
Maybe it isn’t finished yet, but MOCAD’s Woodward Avenue facade still isn’t distinctive enough. I nearly drove right by the museum last night, and I’m one of the people who knows where it is. Luckily the battalion of red-coated valets deployed outside the facility’s Garfield Avenue entrance made MOCAD’s grand opening gala a hard thing to overlook. Well, not the gala itself — I wasn’t down with its $135 door price, mostly because I’d just dropped 2 large at the Bush/Bouchard coffer stuffer out in Warren. (Not really — I’ve barely ever dropped $2000 at once on anything, let alone a political contribution.) No, I’m talking about the MOCAD gala afterparty, which for me kicked off around 11 p.m., or when the Tigers still had a one-run lead.
MOCAD’s internal area is massive, but also barren and very cement. The sleek thump of Ghostly International dudes Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliot emanated from one area, and the funky blare of roots reggae echoed from another, the latter thanks to Chris Fachini's contribution to the museum collection, a gigantic, totally fucking cool sound system that resembled Voltron if he was made out of boom boxes instead of mechanical crime-fighting lions. Figures in black flitted everywhere — it was as if a VIP rave had been thrown inside a hollowed-out Home Depot.
The lights were out in the Ghostly space, which also contained the very busy bar area. 500 walking head shots from the “gallery opening scene” in every movie that has a gallery opening scene intermingled under the exposed rafters, aloe and aquamarine shadows from the enormous MOCAD projection spinning on the wall behind the DJs glancing off their smiling faces. In another corner stylish folk grazed from a buffet pallet roughly the size of a helipad.
The party seemed to start thinning around 1 a.m.; no doubt there were a few people in that place dreading the drive back to Bloomfield Hills and Cranbrook. In my opinion, MOCAD’s opening was a success, if only because it offered the night creatures something new to do. The museum directors should really consider hiring the Ghostly crew as residents. Having some Detroit techno bouncing off the walls really brings the (enormous) room together.
RELATED: "What's the point of a new museum in Detroit?", MT arts editor Rebecca Mazzei's recent cover story on all matters MOCAD-related.