"The Detroit Dinner Service" by Chloë Brown

Chloe Brown's performance piece "The Detroit Dinner Service" takes place in one of the Lodges in the Masonic Temple in Detroit, from the 9th of March to the 6th of April 2016.

The event comprised of a dinner party for 12 inspirational women – women who are responding to the negative situation in Detroit with positivity and creativity – and centered on a meal prepared by the wonderful chef and food activist Alison Heeres.

The meal was served on a bone china 36-piece dinner service designed by Brown, which is also called The Detroit Dinner Service.  Made in Stoke-on-Trent, it uses the drawing Brown made of a route through Detroit to decorate the dinner service with the backstamp including the Topographies logo.

The choice of location for the dinner party is significant – it took place in Palestine Lodge that included Henry Ford in its membership as well as other key figures of the industrial patriarchy in Detroit. The dinner-party-as-art questions the failure of this hidden exclusively male power in relation to the severe situation the city finds itself in, through an event that is exclusively female, in order to draw attention to the largely Do-It-Yourself initiatives that these women are developing, in response to this situation.

The guests included

Halima Cassells

Imani Foster

Kim Kozlowski

Cornetta Lane

Faina Lerman

Tiff Massey

Marsha Miro

Marsha Music

Rola Nashef

Tawana Petty

Martha Reeves

Lori Sanders

Other participants

Gwen Meyer: urban farmer

Christina deRoos: host, artist and deputy director of Kresge Arts in Detroit and co-director of Spread Art

Grace Higgins Brown: artist

Chloë Brown: artist

The evening was documented using photography and sound recordings that will be developed into further pieces in the future.