SMART Museum of Art, University of Chicago, IL, USA
October 1, 2009 – January 17, 2010

Throughout the vast interior of the United States, contemporary artists are responding to the world around them and reshaping it in unexpected ways. Organized by the Smart Museum and the Van Abbemuseum, this exhibition includes photography, drawings, and video as well as site-specific installations and performances by a diverse assembly of artists who are redefining the cultural terrain of the American Heartland.

Afforest your Neighborhood
Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop has established its first Tree of Heaven Farm on a vacant Detroit city lot for future harvest. We planted seedlings in beds of car tires. The tires protect the young trees while they are growing but also determine their lifetime to a size when the trunks are suitable for processing. We assume this period of growth to be approx. 40 years. Within this timespan we will maintain the plantation and keep the lot free of any kind of real estate speculation or building activity. The plantation has been realized with the support of the SMART Museum of Art, University of Chicago and a documentation will be on display in the "Heartland" exhibition.

Ghetto Palm Steam to Cure What Ails You (The Spirit of Detroit)
A humidifier is installed in the museum lobby. The water tank of the device contains some pieces of Tree of Heaven wood (coll. "Ghetto Palm"). This is how the active substances get extracted in traditional chinese medicine to cure a wide range of ailments from digestion problems, mental conditions, balding, to asthma and even cancer. In these tough economical times, a constant flow of steam will benefit all visitors with the spirit of this true Detroit ressource.

Curators: Stephanie P. Smith, Charles Esche, Kerstin Niemann
Participating artists: Carnal Torpor, Compass Group, Cody Critcheloe, Jeremiah Day, Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, Design 99, Scott Hocking, Kerry James Marshall, Greely Myatt, Marjetica Potrc, Julika Rudelius, Artur Silva, Deb Sokolow, and Whoop Dee Doo.