|The "McMartha" Award|
Franklin Furnace's 25th anniversary approached, the Board of Directors set
about devising a fitting celebration. We decided to perpetuate the spirit
of risk and experimentation for which Franklin Furnace had become known
with a cash award in the amount of $25,000 to an artist (or collaborative
team of artists) whose work fell outside the present confines of artistic
practice. We planned an annual award that would be given, like the MacArthur
Foundation "genius" awards, without application from the artist.
In 2000, we selected artist and architect Kyong Park, whose "Adamah" project in Detroit critiqued the capitalist system while proposing a new social order to be built upon the xeric space left behind. Yoko Ono agreed to announce the award, which we had dubbed the "McMartha," on November 7, 2001.
September 11, 2001 intervened. We decided to hold the party, but skip the public announcement of the McMartha. Yet, feeling that as fear of terrorism rose, the spirit of risk needed support like never before, Franklin Furnace awarded its 25th anniversary McMartha Award in the amount of $25,000 to Kyong Park.
Kyong Park's Adamah project is comprised of several discrete works video, installations, and text pieces. The two videos available here, Detroit, Making It Better For You, and Words, Images and Spaces, were made possible through funding from the McMartha Award.