The mammoth Woods Cathedral in Detroit has come back from the brink to become the city’s latest arts venue.
Built in 1919, the former place of worship has opened its doors to the public for the first time in a decade for its inaugural exhibition, War Games. The show takes its name from the 1983 film, starring actor Matthew Broderick as a hacker, and the exhibits on display explore the consequences of technology in the surrounds of the cathedral.
Its opening is a major milestone for New York gallerist Paul Johnson, who bought the 50,000 sq ft building two years ago at auction when it had no roof. He has invested more than $250,000 in covering the structure and bringing it back to life.
‘This building might never be worth that money, but it’s about the events we can have in it,’ said Johnson, who set up the JTG Detroit Project to oversee the cathedral’s renaissance. ‘Hopefully the building takes on a life of its own.’
For its first year as a cultural venue, Johnson called on the help of old friends at LA gallery Moran Bondaroff, which is spearheading the programme of events.
The inaugural exhibition – curated by Benjamin Godsill – displays Surrealist, Conceptualist and Minimalist works by 12 artists, including Anders Ruhwald, Hannah Perry, Simon Denny and Yngve Holden.
War Games runs until 6 August.