DiverseWorks hosts a new exhibition opening tonight (Friday, 11.5.10, at 7:30pm) that features the work of Brent Green. Although it is an exhibition, plus a film screening, there will also be live music performances (one of the members of Fugazi is reportedly in the performance).
Here are more details:
Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then (exhibition): Nov. 5-Dec. 18, 2010 Brent Green and Donna K (who plays the wife, Mary, of Leonard Wood in the film) will be doing a special performance at the opening reception Brent Green will be giving a lecture about his work on Tuesday, November 9 at the Mitchell Center for the Arts from 1-2:30pm Cinema Arts Festival Houston, Nov. 12 & 13, 2010 at Frenetic Theater – Screening of Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, accompanied by a live music performance (featuring Brent Green, Donna K, Drew Henkels, Brendan Canty (of Fugazi) and John Michael Swartz)
See the trailer of the film here.
More information after the jump…
The exhibition and film both center around the true story of Leonard Wood, an unknown hardware-store clerk from Louisville, Kentucky, who worked tirelessly throughout the 1970s to create an original, bizarre (and since destroyed) residence. Wood hoped that his unimaginably tiered floors, vaulted ceilings, and twisted, heaving walls might somehow save his wife, Mary, from her terminal cancer. Following her death, Wood tuned his healing machine for another twenty years, before toppling from its roof, leaving him broke and incapacitated.
For Gravity, Green rebuilt Wood’s home along with four other houses, a handmade piano, a sixteen-foot glowing moon, and a giant, wooden God on his rural Pennsylvania farm, following the crudely rendered plans Wood had scrawled on a piece of cardboard. For the exhibition at DiverseWorks, Green has created cardboard sculptures to accompany the film which will run in its entirety in the gallery space. Green describes his own journey creating Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then as, “an effort to leave something wonderful behind, which is exactly what Leonard did.”
Green’s work brings to mind the oeuvre of American artist/filmmaker Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), for its lack of guile and cobbled feel, while sharing an aesthetic affinity with Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Svankmajer (b. 1934) and Swedish video artist Nathalie Djurberg (b.1978). However, his lyrical narration, along with the cadence and twang of his voice which tremors through his films more closely recalls Bob Dylan. A passed-down Appalachian wisdom permeates Green’s hardscrabble fables yet, where Dylan is authoritative and concealed as a storyteller, Green is commanding but exposed, sharing a deep connection with his characters. He wrings hope from the discarded and disheveled to patch together a unique and personal Americana. His stop-motion animations, sculptures, and drawings hinge shakily around the paradox of life and death. Green’s heroes are crooked, carved figures bathed in warm, flickering light. They speak and sing from intone to exaltation of American folklore, the final days of Beethoven and Thomas Edison, of deviant children trapped in Hell.