Living with Mies is a series of portraits of residents in their living rooms in the Lafayette Park neighborhood of downtown Detroit, home to the largest collection of Mies van der Rohe-designed buildings in the world. This affordable middle-class residential area is one of Detroit’s most racially integrated and economically stable neighborhoods, although it is surrounded by evidence of a city in financial distress. These photographs were made in collaboration with the group Placement, and published in their book ‘Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies’ (Metropolis Books: 2012).
Rather than focusing on the starck interior spaces and austere exteriors that one might expect to see in photographs of iconic modernist architecture, these portraits seek to show the organic and idiosyncratic ways that people live in Lafayette Park.
The neighborhood has not received the level of international attention that other similar projects by Mies have. This may be due in part to its location in Detroit, a city whose most positive qualities are often overlooked in the media. While there are many images of abandoned buildings in Detroit or about the city’s prosperous past, these photographs are of people living in a remarkable part of the city as it exists today.
Corine Vermeulen is a Dutch artist who set up her studio practice in Detroit in 2006. Her projects include: Your Town Tomorrow (2007-2012) which documents Detroit’s shifting social and geographic ecologies, and Obscura Primavera (2009-2014) which explores present-day conditions in the city of Medellin, Colombia. Her photographs have been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Volume, Kaleidoscope magazine, Abitare and De:Bug. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, and was amongst the first group of artists to be awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2009. Corine is currently working on her first museum solo exhibition Photographs from the Walk-In Portrait Studio (2009-2014) to open in November 2014 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.
Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.