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Byars, Beware! MOCAD Kicks Things Off with Mexican Migrants & Jamaican Queens

February, 4 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit kicks off its spring season with a Friday night party that opens two very different exhibitions to the public.

The dark-pop trio Jamaican Queens will perform, as will Detroit's quirkiest rapper, Doc Waffles.

But it's all about the art.

The exhibition "State of Exception" features objects left behind by migrants who've made the journey from Mexico to America. Another, titled "I Cancel All My Works at Death," was curated by Triple Candie and examines the late artist James Lee Byars.

MOCAD's curator of public projects, Greg Baise, tells WDET's Travis Wright that Byars was an artist who made a significant impact on modern performance art. He says Byars was born in Detroit, in 1932, and studied philosophy at Wayne State University until graduating in 1955.