December 1, 2017
Stamps Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak’s latest project, Rethink Shinola, a “biting, minutely researched critique of an appropriative re-branding of Detroit,” is featured in a Hyperallergic essay by Sarah Rose Sharp.
From the inception of this reboot, spearheaded by Bedrock development corporation and its Texas-born-and-bred President, Jacques Panis, there has been copious evidence that the values championed by Shinola in no way represent a vanguard, but in fact reinforce a system as old as colonialism itself. This reality is laid out in excruciating, exceptionally thoroughly researched detail by writer, artist, and University of Michigan Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak, who creates critical interventions into capitalism to critique consumer culture and brand messaging. Modrak’s past works include the bitingly on-point Re Made Company. Her newest project is “Rethink Shinola,” a timed animation designed to be viewed on laptop or desktop (rather than mobile device) that lays out the contradictions and racist underpinnings of Shinola’s branding, past and present, and the obliviousness with which the company parlays these damaging practices into present-day Detroit.