A City on Fire: Artist Dialogue: Anders Ruhwald + Dan Pitera

December 14, 2016 / 7:00pm

Free with museum admission

In this public dialogue, artist Anders Ruhwald and Detroit-based architect and sociopolitical activist Dan Pitera will reflect on the evolution of cities like Detroit. They will frame their discussion using Ruhwald's current solo exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, in which fire functions as a medium and metaphor for transformation of objects and space.

Anders Ruhwald: Unit 1: 3583 Dubois is an installation based on an apartment building Ruhwald purchased in Detroit in 2014. Located at 3583 Dubois Street near the historic Eastern Market, the building is one of two residences left on its block. Ruhwald has been working towards a permanent installation in one of the four apartments while he renovates the remaining apartments for residential use. Unit 1 presents several life-sized rooms and corridors made with a variety of materials that reference both the urban industrial environment and Ruhwald's ceramic practice. The exhibition is a pilot for the artist's permanent installation, set to open around May 2017.

Dan Pitera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He views the design profession as an essential force in establishing human relationships and engagement.

The DCDC is dedicated to fostering university and community partnerships that create inspired and sustainable neighborhoods and spaces for all people. Mr. Pitera holds the position that the sustainability and regeneration of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. Currently, Dan is co-leading the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Long Term Planning initiated by Mayor Bing in 2010.

Dan was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He was a finalist for both the 2008-2009 Rafael Vinoly Architects Grants in Architecture, and the 2006-2007 James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. Under his direction since 2000, the DCDC won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The DCDC was recently awarded the 2011 SEED Award, and the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The DCDC was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France.

Dan was a resource member for the 40th and 43rd Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD) and a facilitator for the MICD 25th anniversary in 2011. In 2011, Dan gave the keynote address at the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress and the Keynote address in Lisbon to Portugal’s equivalent to HUD. In 1998, Dan was the Hyde Chair of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the North America, South America, and Europe.

Anders Ruhwald (1974, Randers, Denmark) lives in Detroit. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. In the past decade, Ruhwald has had more than 20 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world including Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (United Kingdom), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), the Saarinen House (Detroit). His work has been featured in more than 80 group exhibitions at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Fondation d’entreprise Richard (Paris), Pinakotek der Moderne (Munich), Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan), and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen). His work is represented in over 20 public museum collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), Denver Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), The National Museum (Sweden), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), and Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan). In 2011, he was awarded the Gold Prize at the Icheon International Biennial in South Korea. He also received a Danish Art Foundation three-year work-stipend in 2010 and the Sotheby’s Prize (UK) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2007. For his permanent project at 3583 Dubois, Ruhwald has earned grants from the Knight Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the Danish Art Foundation. Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North-America since 2006, he was an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently he is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA.