The "McMartha" Award




Kyong Park Bio

Detroit, Making It Better For You

Words, Images and Spaces

As 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.

from project ADAMAH:
Adamah, meaning "of the earth" is a long-term urban renewal project meant to inspire the local community and provide a new equity for Detroit. We believe that solid growth of communities does not come from casinos or stadiums, but rather that it comes from the people of the city investing time and care in themselves. Adamah is a reclamation project focusing on an area northwest of downtown Detroit, an area historically abandoned and disused. The plan seeks to turn the area's idle land into productive, educational and job creating spaces by evolving the land into a self-sufficient agricultural zone. By depositing these public spaces into a community owned and governed land trust, a new and shared equity for the economic development of the area will emerge. Believing that true globalism is a collection of thriving localisms, Adamah articulates a participatory and Democratic community as the source and product of decentralized education, labor, housing, culture, and politics that will stem from the practice of urban ecology. A plan for Adamah's completion in 2010 has begun, with hopes of its attaining sovereignty in 2075.




Other Projects:
a very slow look
the three cities of Dresden