Spirit of Detroit performed by Bob Marsh
Meridian Music: Composers in Performance is pleased to present, Spirit of Detroit, a new site-specific work by performer Bob Marsh. In this multi-media performance using movement, text, song, storytelling, and an audio collage, Marsh searches for meaning in the complex swirl of deep sadness and burning rage evoked by the photographs of Philip Jarmain exhibited in American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit at Meridian Gallery. Against the backdrop of the mural-sized photographs documenting the once stately and regal buildings of decaying Detroit, Bob Marsh attempts to sort through the "isms" that ate the heart out of the city of his birth and artistic growth.
Using a ground cloth that he painted on the streets of Detroit twenty-five years ago, Marsh has created an urban camouflage suit, including a cape and other clothing articles. Marsh explains that, "I have been working out my feelings, thoughts, desires, and memories of my relationship with the city of my birth and growth as a person and as an artist. The results are the expression and concerns of art, life, corruption, sickness, and death in Spirit of Detroit." The "sonic-suit" produces a desolate sound evocative of those heard blowing across the vast vacant areas of Detroit.
Apart from the home of his childhood, which looks much the same, except for the requisite burglar bars, most of the buildings in which the meaningful experiences of his life and creative growth took place have disappeared: erased, plowed down, paved over, or left as tracts of plain dirt. When this personal loss is multiplied hundreds of thousands of times over, the destruction becomes biblically epic and enormous.
Bob Marsh is a San Francisco-based musician, dancer, choreographer, and performer who works both locally and internationally. He was born, raised, and educated in Detroit. In the Bay Area, he has performed at Meridian Gallery, Luggage Store, and Center for New Music.
Meridian Gallery (View)
535 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94108