The Source: A Catalog of Late-20th-Century American Relics
Daniel Arsham

March 1 - June 23, 2019
Cranbrook Art Museum


The Beach Detroit opens in conjunction with Daniel Arsham’s exhibition The Source: A Catalog of Late-20th-Century American Relics at Cranbrook Art Museum with the support of Library Street Collective. On view from March 1st to June 23rd in the museum’s lower level.

In The Source: A Catalog of Late-20th-Century American Relics, artist Daniel Arsham continues his fictional archeology of the future through the creation of iconic objects and products of late-twentieth-century American life. Devoid of their natural coloration and in a seemingly petrified state, these newly produced works are exhibited as relics from the not-to-distant past—the unearthed remains, perhaps, of some unknown cataclysmic event. For the first time, such objects will be displayed as archeological artifacts inside the gallery, heightening the illusion of veracity and sense of authenticity.

In his Fictional Archaeology series, Arsham chooses iconic objects dating from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries—a time of technological acceleration and obsolescence that witnessed an increasing virtualization and dematerialization of the physical world. The objects are eroded casts that are expertly fashioned from materials such as sand, selenite crystal, or volcanic ash. The choice of objects for this presentation—sneakers, hip hop music, sporting goods—resonate with the artist’s early life, “all of these things that influenced me, particularly as a child and many of my peers.