Oren Goldenberg

Oren-Goldenberg_ Oren-Goldenberg_2ABOUT THE ARTIST

Oren Goldenberg is a video artist living and working in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. He uses video to explore the dismantlement of the public sector, subvert the assumed and create catharsis. Goldenberg critiques society through dance, documentary and satire while creating new rituals for transformation. An honors graduate from the University of Michigan, he has created films and videos for 15 years. His work has been seen in festivals, theatres, museums, derelict street corners and the World Wide Web.

To see more work by Oren Goldenberg, visit orengoldenberg.com.

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Presented as part of the Art X Detroit 2015 Visual Arts Exhibition, A Requiem for Douglass is a ritual. Comprised of many rituals, this interactive installation invites participants to perform the rite of salvaging a brick from the late Brewster-Douglass housing project. Arranged in the form of one of the iconic Douglass Towers, this sculpture of bricks initiates a series of videos when touched. The activated videos present a display of seven rituals performed at the Douglass Towers during their demolition, as well as the demolition itself.

The installation lasts as long as there are bricks remaining.


The spaces around us are changing. How do we participate in this inevitable occurrence as opposed to being bystanders? After documenting the drastic dismantlement of Detroit Public Schools (Our School, 2010) and Detroit Public Housing (Brewster Douglass, You’re My Brother, 2012) Oren Goldenberg created the series The Future is Changing: Rituals for Spatial Change to publicly explore the possibilities of catharsis for the ever-changing city. A Requiem for Douglass is the final iteration of this series.

As a participant-activated installation, A Requiem for Douglass attempts to bring not only the documentation of ritual to the viewer, but the act of ritual as well. The importance of recognition through ritual became overwhelmingly apparent when the original seven rituals were performed at the demolition site of the Douglass Towers. As each ritual began, a serene reverence transformed the scene of displacement and destruction to one of honor and exaltation. A Requiem for Douglass aims to transfer this experience to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.


Performers include:
Gabriel Brass Band
Art Lab J dancers and choreographer Joori Jung
Rowe Niodior African Dance Company
Chace ‘Mic Write’ Morris
Bianca Ibarloucea
St. Augustine and St. Monica Choir
Halima Cassells

Additional credits:
Senthil Seveelavanan – Interactive Computer Technologist
Charlie O’Geen – Sculptural Consultant
Ben Wolf – Structural Builder
Yoni Goldstein – Creative Consultant
Ben Friedman – Producer
Rebecca Prosser – Producer
Geoff George – Cinematographer
Zach Takenaga – Camera Operator
Katie Barkel – Camera Operator
Stephen McGee – Camera Operator
Mark Haygen – Sound Recordist
Greg Tom – Archivist
Jessie Doan – Archivist