Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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New York, NY 10013
+1 212 254 8200


Curator Jennifer Junkermeier developed this proposal during the Summer 2013 Curatorial Intensive in New York.

PROJJEKT is a forthcoming contemporary art exhibition space set to open in Detroit, Michigan in 2014. PROJJEKT aims to provide an open and accessible space for the public to engage with contemporary cultural and creative activity within Detroit, the U.S., and abroad. It aims to foster contemporary art discourse, and to expose and contextualize the work of Detroit-based artists.

The name PROJJEKT stems from the idea that a project or project room alludes to an experimental space, object, or practice. PROJJEKT is a platform for new experiences, experimentation, and interconnectivity.

PROJJEKT’s programming will address the current social, political, economic, and environmental concerns of Detroit, and its unique environment. Specific themes being considered for projects and exhibitions include: fracture, sprawl, DIY culture, collaboration and sustainability, public vs. private, identity politics and issues of representation, monoculture, and improvisation.

PROJJEKT’s location in the city of Detroit––with its historic past and uncertain present––critically informs the programming and framework for the space. Located in the Midwest (Rust Belt) region of the U.S., Detroit is the birthplace of the U.S. automobile industry, the assembly line, mass production, unions, workers rights, Motown, and techno. In 1950, Detroit reached its population height of 1.85 million people, after which the city headed into systemic decline: the loss of manufacturing jobs, race riots, white flight, political corruption, and most recently, bankruptcy. There are over 80,000 abandoned buildings and an estimated 22 square miles of vacant lots (equivalent to the size of Manhattan).

The Detroit art community is made up of two large scale institutions, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD); a handful of small to mid-size to non-profit art spaces; small DIY artist and art collective run initiatives that combine studios with exhibition galleries (sometimes intertwined with residency programs); and a handful of commercial art galleries, not typically recognized at the international level.

The Detroit art community faces a lack of funding, vital mass, visibility, and formal critique (in the form of art writing). To address this problem, in December 2013, I co-founded, with artist stephen garrett dewier, ∞ mile (infinite mile), a monthly, online, Detroit-based art journal.

Detroit provides a unique mix of conditions for a curatorial endeavor like PROJJEKT: the financial feasibility of this project, the type of spaces available (large and industrial), minimum overhead (cost-effective rent), and the availability of space (vast). The importance of locating PROJJEKT in Detroit lies in the city’s history and its cultural significance (from the auto industry to the music industry to the development of the middle-class).

PROJJEKT’s programming will consist of eight exhibitions per year: Six two-person exhibitions that pair an artist based in Detroit (or the Detroit Metro area) with an artist based outside of Detroit; and two guest curated exhibitions, with the intent that local and international curators will work collaboratively. By positioning work from outside Detroit next to work made locally, PROJJEKT aspires to create a new context for artists and audiences to engage with work while creating a platform for broader interactions to take place. Exhibitions will be complemented by public programs: artist talks and panel discussions; publications: catalogues and artist books; and an online platform: a website and videos of artist/curator interviews and exhibition walkthroughs. PROJJEKT seeks to engage a local, regional, and international audience through its exhibitions, public programs, and web presence.

*PROJJEKT’s unique spelling, with two J’s and a O and K, is a nod to founders Jennifer Junkermeier and Osman Khan.

Learn More

To learn more about this proposal please email Jennifer Junkermeier at To learn more about the Curatorial Intensive email