March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Photo installation at new Broad Art Museum looking for local faces

Photos courtesy of the Broad Art Museum

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — When the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum opens next week on the campus of Michigan State University, there’s a good chance you could be in the museum. Not just walking through the halls, mind you, but actually in of one of the exhibits. Yes, you can be part of the art.  

The MSU Arts Department and City Pulse are cooperating to help promote the piece, called “The Gift: Lansing, Michigan,” through print and online publication. “The Gift” was conceived by photographic artist Jochen Gerz, and consists of a wall of framed black-and-white portraits. Gerz created similar installations in contemporary art museums in Paris and San Francisco.

The public is invited to sit in for a portrait session at 333 E. Green River Ave. (the former Barnes & Noble location) through Nov. 7. Then on Nov. 10 and 11, the temporary studio will move into a tent adjacent to the museum. The resulting photo will be printed, framed and hung in the museum. When the exhibit is over, all participants will be called and given a portrait — but not their own — to take home and hang. Hence the name, “The Gift.”

“The idea is to say to the people who are living here, ‘We are trying to do something different,’” Gerz said. “You slowly see a bigger picture of what is called ‘your place.’ You will say, ‘I thought I knew my place.’ And you don’t.”