The recent Cranbrook Art Academy graduate says she wants to awaken something within viewers of her work.
Detroit-born artist Morgan Bouldes studied photography at Wayne State University and is a recent graduate of Cranbrook Art Academy. Her recent work focuses on her role as an “experience curator,” making immersive, experience-based work.
This can take the form of film, performance or installation, all with the goal of forging an internal connection with the viewer. “My goal is to make you feel something – to awake something within you,” Bouldes says. “That could be to spark an old memory or make a connection. I’m really big on connecting fibers between strangers.”
Her most recent work, which had been on display at the 2021 Graduate Degree Exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum through mid-May, showcased this sensibility. A collection of mason jars was arranged on the museum wall in a circle, each filled with items from a person chosen by Bouldes. Visitors were able to remove the jars from the wall to investigate its contents.
“The experience is you being confronted with this wall of mirrors, but then you’re invited to open a jar. It’s a completely immersive experience because you can smell things, touch them, feel different fabrics, read and find out about new people.”
Another recent performance-based piece involved inviting a small audience to observe a conversation between Bouldes and her great-grandparents in a secluded courtyard. “It’s this intimate moment between the living and the dead, ancestor and descendant,” she says. Bouldes feels this work is most successful when it’s able to create an internal change within the viewer. “I really want your first initial thoughts to create a shift, even if it’s an invisible shift.”
This summer, Bouldes will be presenting work with Library Street Collective for their exhibition with Art Mile Detroit. In the fall, she will be pursuing a teaching fellowship at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.