“Remember to serve your own loas.” That’s the advice given to a couple of the central characters in Ishmael Reed’s intensely discursive work of literary collage, “Mumbo Jumbo.” Not incidentally, “Mumbo Jumbo” is also the title of the most recent show at Public Pool in Hamtramck, Mich., a collectively-run gallery whose head curator, Steve Hughes, is a Knight Arts grantee.
The show is the creation of four artists who work so closely together as to be at times indistinguishable. Ben Hall and Andrew Mehall are the organizational core of the alternative gallery Young World, which sits just on the Detroit side of the Eastern Hamtramck border, and uses its 6,000-square-foot ex-industrial space as a proving ground for artists ready to tackle the challenges of scalability. Hall is also partners with the show’s third participant, Jason Murphy–together they run the popular Eastern Market eatery Russell St. Deli, which is known for its progressive business model as much as its culinary styling. Murphy is a primary interlocutor with Mehall and Hall, as is their fourth, the East Coast-based Elliott Stevens, who contributes written content and collaborative efforts to the group from afar.