News & Views » Columns

Art Bar

comment

Ars brevis — Artist Vito Acconci may take over the universe. Since the late ’60s, his work has gradually gotten bigger, metaphorically and literally. At first he penned words on the page, then the New York writer-poet slowly turned to photography, which was accompanied by text. Then he began to move his image, inserting himself in videos. Those performances used themes of the body, gender and identity. Soon after, he created multimedia installations, taking the topic of human interaction and our perceived experience inhabiting space. He also crafted large-scale sculptures. Finally, Acconci really put art to use, leaving his highly conceptual works for more practical forms, focusing on architecture and urban design. He’s even constructed an island, the stainless steel land mass floating on the Mur river in Graz, Austria, housing an amphitheatre, a café and a playground.

It’s a tragedy that Acconci’s public art in Detroit’s St. Aubin Park, located at Atwater Street between St. Aubin and Orleans, was demolished sometime last spring. According to Dennis Nawrocki’s Art in Detroit Public Places, “Land of the Boats,” completed in 1991, was the artist’s first public project, representing a shift in Acconci’s career, when his ideas about the individual in his environment are played out in the real world. The reasoning behind the art’s destruction is not clear, but the order may have come from the city, possibly in conjunction with current renovations.

As part of the College for Creative Studies’ Woodward Avenue Lecture Series, Acconci discusses his flow of experimentation at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 31, in the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium inside the Walter B. Ford II Building on the CCS campus. It’s free and open to the public. Call 313-664-7800 for more information.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.