Art & Entertainment

MOCAD Presents: Standing Still, Lying Down, As If

Hey, friends! There’s a new art exhibition coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) later this month. Standing Still, Lying Down, As If will be on view October 26, 2018, to January 6, 2019. 

Other special events for the opening of the Standing Still, Lying Down, As If exhibit include:

  • Opening Reception on Friday, October 26, 2018, at 6 p.m.
  • Artist Talk with Adriana Ramić and Patrick Meagher at 6:30 p.m.
  • Performance by Efe Bes, a Central African native born in Detroit, MI who is the founder and lead musician of the Bambuti music and movement group.
  • Workshop on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at 1 p.m.


Motivated by the inevitability of our engagement with pre-established conventions—and by a question of “What happens when a framework is misused?”– Standing Still, Lying Down, As If expands on a vocabulary related to the need to engage with the framed and predetermined environment, bringing together works by nearly 30 artists whose art-making methods are developing in response to the established frameworks of communication, production, and distribution.

Standing Still, Lying Down, As If references the 2003 exhibition curated by Matthew Higgs at White Columns in New York City entitled Post No Bills. The exhibition surveyed, by way of an artist-made poster, the current artistic oscillations into “…the polemical space…” of public communication “…as a vehicle for [artists] ideas.” Standing Still, Lying Down, As If re-formulates the definition of a poster as a “framed space” to facilitate another inquiry into how artists today identify and utilize these polemical spaces.

 Photo Credit: A March Issue (Sonia Oet and Line Arngaard), 2018

The large-scale group exhibition collects works that propose distinct approaches to the ‘framed space’ and challenge the established values within display, art making, and the art market. Some works in the exhibition are dispersed throughout the museum and some will develop over the course of the time. Together these multi-modal approaches aim to create a continuous and inquisitive environment for the viewer, offering a primer for active engagement with one’s own surroundings. Artist-led events will take place at the museum over the exhibition’s opening weekend.

Concurrently, MOCAD will be working in collaboration with Red Bull Arts Detroit on a special exhibition project in Eastern Market neighborhood that extends the conversation away from the museum walls. The off-site component of the exhibition features Mieke Gerritzen and Iman Raad, two artists who will respond to some of the themes prevalent in Standing Still, Lying Down, As If in the form of two large-scale outdoor installations.

Alberto Aguilar, Efe Bes, Beni Bischof, Ernest A. Bryant III, Caroline Chandler, Wayne Curtis, Mieke Gerritzen, Joel Holmberg, David Horvitz, Ashton Hudgins, Patrick Meagher, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Trevor Naud, Wyatt Niehaus, Iman Raad, Adriana Ramić, David Reinfurt, Tylonn Sawyer, Kateřina Šedá, Jordan Seiler, Amy Small, Travess Smalley, Youngeun Sohn, Wesley Taylor and Complex Movements with Siwatu-Salama Ra, Nora Turato, Polina Vasilyeva, Vanessa Viruet, Mike Wrathell, Alivia Zivich, a.march.issue

About the Ford Curatorial Fellowship Program
The Museum of Contemporary Arts Detroit (MOCAD) has been awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to support two Curatorial Fellows. “A profound thank you to the Ford Foundation for their support of this new prestigious fellowship. Without their support, this fellowship could not have been realized.

Museum education can be, and should be, re-invented to be at the service of young people. My educational philosophy is central to program development at MOCAD, I believe that a robust arts education-including learning by doing-is critical to building future artists, curators, scholars, museum professionals, change makers, writers, audiences, and engaged citizens. We aim especially to create a more equitable education,” stated Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder.

Photo Credit: Beni Bischof, Sausage Power, 2011
Friday, October 26, 2018, 6:00pm to 11pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Join us at MOCAD on Friday, October 26 as we celebrate the opening of Standing Still, Lying Down, As If. There will be a series of programming during the evening including a conversation between artists Adriana Ramić and Patrick Meagher at 6:30pm followed by a special performance by exhibiting artist Efe Bes will begin at 8:30pm.
Adriana Ramić and Patrick Meagher introduce Standing Still, Lying Down, As If
Friday, October 26, 6:30pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Join artists Adriana Ramić and Patrick Meagher as they introduce and evaluate exhibition’s themes by discussing questions that are pertinent to their work, around intuitive means of working with computation, data re-interpretation, and what does it mean to re-materialize a system of cognition into a physical space. The conversation will be followed by Q&A discussion with the audience.

Photo Credit: Adriana Ramić, Machine that the larvae of configuration, 2017

Adriana Ramić is based in New York City. Ramić’s work focuses on translation and reconfiguration as a means of reencoding disparate or illegible materials. Computation and artificial intelligence techniques inform these interpretations, from melancholic idiosyncrasies of machine learning research to crude facsimiles of comprehensible computation.

Ramić’s most recent body of work, Machine that the larvae of configuration, spans the outgrowths of an image recognition program written by the artist. The program, BUBAMARA-OCR, uses computer vision algorithms to remap each image as a sequence of letters, with ladybugs as the intermediary. This year, she will be releasing a publication with the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations.

Patrick Meagher lives and works in New York City. Meagher’s art explores how the digital age affects us spiritually and emotionally. Working in computer-generated collage, sculpture, and other media, his work asks how humans will evolve in an era of transgressive technology and increasingly virtual interactions.

Exploring notions of space and dimensionality, his process focuses on digital production, timeliness of subject matter, and information and resource sharing. His collaborative projects such as Collective Show and the Silvershed are lateral structures to create organizational formats, spaces, and social environments: event-based happenings and groups that explore ethics and personal agency as part of studio practice. Meagher is currently working on bringing next installment of the Collective Show to Detroit.

Efe Bes, Standing Still, Lying Down,
As If Mary Johnson

Friday, October 26, 8:30 p.m.

Join prolific storyteller and teacher Efe Bes for a multilayered drumming performance combining traditional drums and contemporary beats.

Efe Bes, a Central African native born in Detroit, MI is the founder and lead musician of the Bambuti music and movement group. Efe has performed locally, nationally, and internationally with music notables such as Alicia Keys, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and is a Parliament Funkadelic alum.

Efe has been a featured artist at the Henry Ford Museum, Detroit African World Festivals, and was recently announced as a 2016 Detroit Afrikan Music Institution artist-in-residence.

Standing Still, Lying Down, As If In The Art Field with Polina Vasilyeva
Saturday, October 27, 1 p.m.
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Using the perimeter of the museum gallery as a stage, artist, and designer Polina Vasilyeva will conduct a performative workshop. The workshop will include an improvised history lesson, a scene rehearsal, and a final performance which will be video documented by the participating audience members and broadcasted via social media. Space is limited, please RSVP (with your first and last name) at

Polina Vasilyeva is a designer and an artist born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and is currently based in New York. Vasilyeva attended Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and received her MFA from Yale School of Art. She is a communication designer and educator currently working collaboratively across an expansive range of media.

Vasilyeva specializes in developing new strategies that engage the public through existing and novel modes of cultural interface. By employing performance in which the audience plays an active role, she believes that the designer is a conductor of visual systems through which content is presented to the world. Vasilyeva has several ongoing collaborations with Detroit-based artists and has most recently conducted an all-day performative workshop as a part of Hamtramck Arts Festival 2016.

Photo Credit: 
Polina Vasilyeva with Ekaterina Kholyapina, Post-Internet Drawing Lessons: Students of Het Geert Groote College rethinking the city-planning of Amsterdam, 2015

Standing Still, Lying Down, As If is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Ouliana Ermolova, Ford Curatorial Fellow, with assistance from Amber Beasley, MOCAD Exhibitions Intern, and with support from Red Bull Arts Detroit.

Exhibitions and public programs at MOCAD are supported by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Support for exhibitions and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. The Ford Curatorial Fellows at MOCAD are supported by the Ford Foundation.

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