The ongoing kerfuffle surrounding the “Rosa Parks house” finally comes to an end this week. Ryan Mendoza’s large installation is actually pretty weird, less a preservation project and more an interrogation of which sections of American history we deem valuable. You can read the backstory here, here, here, and here, but this is the Detroit home where Parks temporarily sought refuge after leaving Alabama in 1957. Placed within the house are ceramic recreations of a small handful of objects: a white table, a black telephone, a frosting-colored sofa so shiny it appears wrapped in plastic. A staircase leads to a missing second story, but doors are suspended theatrically where the rooms would have been. Dwarfed by the scale of the massive WaterFire Arts Center, the modest home is stanchioned off with a red velvet rope, creating a mood that’s simultaneously dignified and precious.
photo: Erin Cuddigan