As the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh celebrates its 35th Anniversary, it recalls the edgy creativity and entrepreneurial spirit at play during its founding with the presentation of new works by Detroit-based artists Design 99 (Gina Reichert & Mitch Cope), Jessica Frelinghuysen, Scott Hocking, Nicola Kuperus & Adam Lee Miller, Russ Orlando and Stamps alum Frank Pahl. While each are connected by their environment, the reactions these artists have to the swift socioeconomic changes happening in Detroit is vastly different and intensely powerful.
Frelinghuysen’s installation, ‘My City is Your City’ is a physical and audio representation of her 4+ years in Hamtramck, Michigan a 2.2 square mile city within Detroit. It is a collection of images and sounds and talk from neighborhood residents; it is about who they are and shared experiences that inform daily life. The installation presents similarities between the cultural and immigrant histories of Detroit and Pittsburgh. Making work that engages itself physically with its public, Frelinghuysen created a forest in the gallery with collected wood from alleyways and tin cans that house sounds collected from Hamtramck and Detroit. She collected the sounds with her ongoing performance ‘Sound Collecting Suit’ which is also on display. Visitors can listen to Churchbells, Mosques, interviews on Polish heritage, barbershop chatter, and Krishna parades and all sorts of multicultural celebrations that exemplify the diversity and quirkiness of this part of Detroit. The installation, ‘My City is Your City’ is part of DETROIT: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE at the Mattress Factory and runs until May 25, 2014.