Their Town Today (Detroit, 2012 - 2017)

Corine Vermeulen photographs Detroit residents, buildings, and landscapes to chronicle the diverse experiences and spaces that shape and influence this city. Many of her projects are collaborative, working with specific communities to create portraits that speak to their individual values and challenges.

Their Town Today (2012-2017) is a new series made in relation to a previous body of work called Your Town Tomorrow that Vermeulen began in 2007, soon after she arrived in Detroit. Your Town Tomorrow included images that speculate various futures for Detroit’s residents and environments. Their Town Today is grounded in current realities, both promising and difficult. Some works update earlier portraits of family members and friends. Others chronicle the evolving cityscape, including the razed Brewster Projects and the many derelict homes that are purchased and renovated by artists. Still-lifes and object portraits suggest sociopolitical traumas and eccentricities, from a burned American flag found in a school supply warehouse to a small-scale Statue of Liberty just outside a Japanese restaurant.

Vermeulen shot this series in various urban neighborhoods, including Banglatown, a community near the Detroit-Hamtramck border that has many Bengali Muslim residents. She celebrates the diversity of these places through captivating portraits that convey sincerity and spirit in equal measure. As a whole, Their Town Today provides an authentic view into Detroit’s complex communities.

-Megan Lykins-Reich, Deputy Director, MOCA Cleveland

    Batoul, 2017

    Zahraa, 2017

    Statue of Liberty, Dearborn, 2017

    Yasmin, 2015

    Still life at Blake and Grace’s house, 2013

    Miles, 2015

    Adil and Adnan (photographed in 2009), 2017

    Adil and Adnan, 2017

    Blake and Grace’s house, 2012

    Blake and Grace, 2012

    Still life at Blake and Grace’s house (II), 2013

    Julisa, 2017

    Carpenter Street & Campau Avenue, 2013

    Chris and the domino table, 2013

    Daniel, 2012

    Danny’s car door, 2015

    Danny, 2015

    Bailey, 2015

    The Truth Booth by the Cause Collective, Courtesy of Cranbrook Art Museum, 2016

    Drew in front of his $500 house, 2017

    The Elevator, 2012

    Matthew, 2014

    Found flag, from the archives of Scott Hocking, 2013

    Found price gun, from the archives of Scott Hocking, 2013

    Hamtramck Stadium, 2015

    Masa, 2012

    PD in front of his house, 2017

    Alex and Helene, 2013

    Jerry in front of the Imagination Station, 2013

    Joe, Sierra and John at the DIA, 2013

    Ron, 2012

    Hamtramck Stadium (II), 2015

    Jamin, 2017

    Tzarinas of the Plane, 2013

    Found straws, from the archives of Scott Hocking, 2013

    Found pens, from the archives of Scott Hocking, 2013

    Vinnie, 2013

    Ika and her son Malik, 2012