Till January 7, 2018
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance is inspired by the vital history of music in Detroit and the legacy of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion. The exhibition continues MOCAD’s investigations into the history of Detroit as well as its programmatic focus on the relationships between art, music, and politics.

Sonic Rebellion connects Detroit’s musical and political histories with a wide range of artworks and artifacts to offer a listening space for the Rebellion’s reverberations. The Rebellion must be listened to and heard if it is ever to be understood. The show connects these historic events to more recent social movements, from Occupy to Black Lives Matter, illustrating threads between past protests and the unresolved racial politics in the United States today. One major such thread is the role of music as a catalyst for social change and empowerment.

The exhibition comprises two aspects: materials from music and resistance movements in Detroit and contemporary artworks dealing with identity politics and protest in connection with music. The artworks encompass a variety of approaches, from sound and video installations to paintings and sculptures, all engaging with music, protest, and the politics of race. In addition to the artworks, the show features archival materials such as posters, flyers, record covers, photographs, audio, video, and musical artifacts drawn from numerous Detroit-area collections. The resonances among the exhibition’s interdisciplinary and intergenerational components connect Detroit’s history with underlying social and economic inequalities persisting in this country and across the globe.

Sonic Rebellion is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large, with Robin K. Williams, Ford Curatorial Fellow.

Participants and contributors:
Barbara Barefield, Sadie Barnette, Andrea Bowers, Vivian Caccuri, Juan Capistrán, Nathan Carter, Marcelo Cidade, Minerva Cuevas, Christopher Cushman, Jamal Cyrus, Tim Davis, Emory Douglas, Kevin Jerome Everson, Gary Grimshaw, Ben Hall, Matthew Angelo Harrison and Corine Vermeulen, David Hartt, A. Qadim Haqq, Juliana Huxtable, Rashid Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Richard Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Darin Mickey, Gordon Newton, Alan Oldham, Adam Pendleton, Pedro Reyes, Imani Roach, Tylonn Sawyer, Leni Sinclair, Bayeté Ross Smith, Cauleen Smith, Diamond Stingily, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Anthony Warnick, Brenna Youngblood

Black History 101 Mobile Museum, Black Merda, Black & Red Books, Ben Blackwell, Greg Bosch, T.M. Caldwell, Death, Detroit Afrikan Music Institution, Detroit Historical Society, The Electrifying Mojo, Fifth Estate, Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, Morry Greener, Craig Huckaby, MAHS Museum, Derrick May, Marsha Music, Mike Khoury, Miz Korona, Nat Morris, Motown Museum, Mike Rubin, Shrine of the Black Madonna, Third Man Records, Sterling Toles, Walter Reuther Library, R.J. Watkins, WGPR–TV Historical Society

Graphic identity and catalog design by Judith Banham of Middlecott Design, Detroit.

MOCAD exhibition support is provided by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

MOCAD thanks Circle Elyse and David Foltyn, Jennifer and David Fischer, Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Marsha and Jeffrey Miro, Roz and Scott Jacobson, Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Sonia and Keith Pomeroy, Sandy Seligman and Gil Glassberg, and Julie Reyes Taubman and Robert Taubman. Exhibitions and public programs are supported by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Funding for exhibitions and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/ Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. MOCAD is extremely appreciative of our major benefactors: Edith S. Briskin/ Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation and the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
4454 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
United States

Image | Credits: Vivian Caccuri, TabomBass, 2016. Image courtesy of Luiza Sigulem.

Graphic Design by Ishmael Annobil /  Web Development by Ruzanna Hovasapyan