The combination of an avant-garde Dutch artist, a diverse group of high schoolers from Lansing, Michigan, a couple of video cameras, plus lots and lots of cardboard and colored paper and scissors and tape, should really not add up to much. And yet, under the boundless social and technical capabilities of Kirsten Leenaars, those elements, brought together for three weeks during the summer of 2019, equal some of the most touching, hopeful, and creative responses I have yet come across to the disaster that is contemporary American life. On exhibit for far too short a time at the Broad Art Museum at MSU, The Broadcast presents the kids’ pitches for hypothetical movies, quiz shows, expert panel discussions and sitcoms, all inclusive of diversity and political content that would shame standard television. Also included are views of games they played and protests they staged around Lansing, testing out different tactics for making their voices heard. As much full of giggles as articulate dismemberment of President Trump and his need to build walls and separate families, The Broadcast proposes that the youth of this country have voices that badly need to be heard amidst the noise and chaos of our media landscape. It’s time the rest of us listened.
—Lori Waxman 2020-08-11 9:15 AM