Driving up to The Brooks Museum in Memphis TN we spiraled around this huge expanse of green in a giant park where this strange sort of modern Grecian looking building sat huddled on a small hillside. Upon entering alone it became clear that this museum is a serious art institution with a strangely eclectic and beautiful collection. A giant Nam June Paik Obelisk is centered in the entrance rotunda composed of stacks of huge old wooden framed television sets, hieroglyphs made of neon, video animations and a projection shooting out of the top and onto the ceiling- and that is just the lobby!
The rest of the collection is just as wonderful with a mix of contemporary and classical work, both international and local, ranging from Holzer to Homer to Monet to Marclay (a still from his video collage Telephones pictured at bottom, a piece that portrays spliced together scenes from Hollywood films to create a nonsense telephone conversation between this common, yet waning, film image & object of communication) to Crespi to Cloar (an amazing Southern artist whose folky surreal paintings are an inspiring vision I've never seen before!) all with a slight hint of oddity that makes the pieces on display coalesce in an underlying feel.
I don't think I ever saw a museum bonded by a feeling rather than by some strict art history rhetoric, not to say the exhibitions weren't well informed-they totally were- but the general sensation from the space and exhibits was the main glue that stuck these awesome pieces together! It really was an amazing place hidden in a park in Memphis Tennessee....a place that we totally rocked! More on that soon!