If you read the Time Magazine Detroit Blog, you know there are a couple different voices there. There's Darrell Dawsey, who's like the real Detroiter voice who tackles the more intellectually challenging issues we face. Then there is Steven Gray, the embedded Time reporter who gives the "outsider" perspective and is good to follow if you want to see how long it takes someone to start to "get" Detroit (which unfortunately for Time is longer than a year). And then there is Karen Dybis, who is basically the Detroit Synergy of bloggers with her wide-eyed suburbanite discovery of Detroit and reluctance to say anything at all negative about the city.
So of course it is a post by Karen Dybis that has irritated me today.
Karen has been, in her words, obsessing over the Ice House project. She's super concerned over the "is it art" question, but apparently also the social implications. So she goes to visit it. She is horrified at the "frightening" state of the block, but finds the house beautiful. And while the artists have been working concurrently to help the neighborhood, she ultimately decides that if she were a neighbor she would want them run out of town. She would never want to live next to an Ice House.
Seriously? A burned out block is ok to live near, but God forbid someone create something beautiful or interesting or noteworthy on that block. What a fucked up perspective.
Karen asks, "Sure, the dazzling ice makes for some fantastic photographs. But who wants to buy a picture that symbolizes the sickest side of Detroit?" You know who does? A ton of Oakland County art buyers, that's who. Just ask the Object Orange folks, they sold a ton of photographs of their Tiggerific Orange abandoned houses at the Paul Kotula Gallery in Ferndale.
I guess it's patronizing to create an art project out of a burned out abandoned home. I hope nobody tells Tyree Guyton or the Object Orange people.