A major group exhibition of ninety nine artists based in the United States, 99 Cents or Less addresses Detroit’s ongoing economic crisis and its 2013 bankruptcy–the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in the history of the United States. Four years after a federal judge approved Detroit’s bankruptcy-exit plan the city’s financial present and future are still in flux. This exhibition is a reflection on the realities of a city that was once one of the country’s wealthiest and most diverse. Speaking to Detroit’s place as a global industrial powerhouse by using materials from 99 cent stores, 99 Cents or Less hopes to make the connection between past, present, and future centers of production, and point to ways that artists can address how mass production has changed and will continue to change and evolve. As the consumer’s relationship with their everyday items has changed, so has the application and approach that artists take when incorporating these items in their work.
An expansive and diverse group of artists invited by Jens Hoffmann, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large will be producing new works for display in the museum referencing Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, industrially produced consumer items that are manipulated via an intervention by the artist and Arte Povera’s use of often cheap and mundane materials to critique convention and the market.