Inspired by Diego Rivera’s iconic Detroit Industry murals (1932–33) for the Detroit Institute of Art, MOCAD’s guest curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions at the Jewish Museum Jens Hoffmann invited a group of international artists to conceive new murals based on the history of Detroit. Eighty years after the completion of Rivera’s monumental work, The Past Is Present commemorates Detroit’s journey while concurrently referencing the Detroit Historical Society’s motto. Made by artists from around the world whose works are rooted in explorations of history, political conflict, and social change, these works allow an opportunity to begin where Rivera left off, examining the history of the city from contemporary points of view.
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