Canvassing The Hood
Published: February 15, 2012
Joshua White and Gary Panter's Light Show
What: A special exhibit that marks the largest collaboration between multimedia pioneers Joshua White and Gary Panter
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org.
When: Displays through April 29.
Joshua White first rose to prominence in the '60s, when he founded the Joshua Light Show, a group that improvised multimedia projections in concert venues. As resident artists at New York's storied Fillmore East, the group performed behind the likes of Janis Joplin, the Doors and Jimi Hendrix, as well as boasting gigs at Carnegie Hall, Woodstock and more. In recent years, White has re-created aspects of his show at museums around the world, often collaborating with fellow multimedia artist Gary Panter. Best known as designer of the surreal set of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Panter also worked in painting, commercial imagery, comics and, in the late '90s, light shows. As a duo, White and Panter have collaborated on a number of projects, but this installation, specially designed to fill almost all 22,000 sqauare feet of MOCAD, is by far the largest. It features a permanent light show designed by White and a funhouse-type component of sculptures and light created by Panter. Viewers are immersed in the installation as the lights flash and shine, and the sculptures seem to change shape and form depending on the distance and angle at which they're viewed. The display also features a collection of videos and ephemera showcasing the long and diverse careers of the two artists, and a number of events will take place throughout the exhibit's run that allow artists, musicians, comics and other performers to interact with the installation.
> Email Megan O'Neil