Field Day with Eitan Sussman and Megan Heeres, DETROIT, MI

Artist Statement

Detroiters have borne witness to the trauma of how society values and de-values dwellings; since 2005 one in three Detroit properties have been foreclosed. Our Sukkot investigates value through material choices. We reference the traditional arb'a minim, or 4 species of Sukkot, with an emphasis on materials of local significance.

Copper is a rich commodity in the cash economy of metal recycling and its natural patina registers the enduring passing of time.

Two solid walls of local reclaimed lumber bookend the fragile copper structure. A hand-crafted table and two benches are nestled in the wall’s surface and fold down to host shared meals.

Above the table is a paper s’chach produced from invasive Phragmites. The s’chach provides shade during the day and a lens through which the stars are viewed at night.

Temporarily Together creates a sukkah that oscillates between emptiness and fullness. Detroit exists within this paradoxical space–a simultaneity of too much land and too many empty houses–but also a fullness of spirit, pride, culture, and people who innovate within their communities. The rich tradition of hakhnasat orekhim (hospitality to guests) is extended on Sukkot to include ushpizin, or spiritual guests of honor, to welcome and sanctify the temporal space.

Within the relative emptiness of this sukkah, we invite ideas about home, place, and togetherness as we gather for seven meals to be hosted, shared, and enjoyed. We invite Detroiters from the city’s seven districts and a spiritual guest to each meal. We welcome challenging conversations at the table.