Sunday, March 2, 2008

Detroit. Demolition. Disneyland.

The DDD Project is a group of anonymous artists that came together a couple years back in response to the ignored decay of so many areas of Detroit. They cake on a layer of neon paint called Tiggeriffic Orange to the front of the most visible abandoned buildings in the city. Dilapidated, burned out homes have almost become part of the everyday landscape of Detroit and these artists have made them impossible to ignore. Two of the first houses painted by the DDD were almost immediately demolished.

These houses had all been previously marked with a circled "D"--a designation made by the city which meant that these structures were intended to be demolished. All it took was the simple gesture of painting the buildings bright orange for them to actually be destroyed. This destruction brings up interesting questions. In an anonymous letter to, the DDD writes, "From one perspective, our actions have created a direct cause and effect relationship with the city. As in, if we paint a house orange, the city will demolish it. In this relationship, where do the city's motivations lie? Do they want to stop drawing attention to these houses? Are the workers simply confused and think this is the city's new mark for demolition? Or is this a genuine response to beautify the city?"

The rest of the group's statement can be found here:

There are tons of other artists and groups whose work addresses the declining neighborhoods of Detroit. Artist Tyree Guyton decorated the abandoned houses on one street with discarded objects he gathered from the streets.

Back in 2001, Kyong Park stripped and dismantled an abandoned house from Detroit and shipped it to Orleans, France where it was reconstructed. There the house itself became an exhibition space.

For more photos and information on this project, visit

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