The South is Only a Home

One of the strangest things about traveling to cities and sharing art with them is that it is a reciprocal experience. In every place we build Gravity we meet artists, musicians, filmmakers, art collectors etc. who are all working, as Brent says in the film, to "leave something wonderful behind." Going to personal art collections is a really amazing perk of traveling with this piece, seeing the sensibility of a person- not an art historian or curator or gallerist- who feels genuinely moved by the things they surround themselves with. I normally don't write about this because the collections are usually in people's homes, in their living spaces that are private, and I don't want to intrude but this past time in Louisville I found a very permeable collection out in the Kentucky fields that I felt the need to share (especially since a lot of the work is online to share already)!

 The collection of Al and Mary Shands was an experience: a contemplative, abstract environment urging you through the space with such highlights as a peaceful Anish Kapoor sculpture, entire rooms taken over by Sol LeWitt, a sound piece by Stephen Vitiello greeting you at the entrance (made by placing a guitar in an adjoining field and mixing the wind playing the instrument into a beautiful soundscape),  a metal Kiki Smith arm with veins extending into flowers, a wooden chainsaw sculpture soaking in light, radiating the smell of cedar and looking like an otherworldly artifact (I don't know the artists name- but you can see it in the video link below!).

Given his love of meditative work it makes sense that Mr. Shands was a former minister, his collection reflects the spirit of things we cannot grasp, of deep rooted bonds between the known and unknowns of culture. These pictures are of a Maya Lin commissioned work (Brent is seen descending a viewing ladder up top!), an earth piece etched into the landscape like a drawing, trying to capture a synthetic modern hand and it's balance with nature. I can only hope Mr. Shands goes to see our exhibit again under much less excitable circumstances as the opening and can feel the same sense that I think  the Gravity installation and his collection share- the beauty and wonder in a line, the complexity of faith, the truth in art.  This video and this video show more of the collection, take a look if you get a chance! I still can't believe the enormous scope of work in Louisville and I still can't believe that Gravity is allowed to be a part of it...actually a permanent part of it since a beautiful, hand carved chair from the film set  is going to reside in a collector's old Kentucky home! 



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.