LOUISVILLE, KY.- 21c Museum
has commissioned a new large-scale, site specific installation that will be on view free of charge in downtown Louisville beginning September 16. The work, entitled Nineveh, is comprised of 50 massive sculpted slabs of soil and grass suspended in mid-air. The hanging forms are arranged with narrow gaps between the blocks to serve as passageways through which visitors can navigate.
Created by Louisville-based artist Ezra Kellerman, the commission is part of 21c Museums ongoing commitment to supporting the work of regional artists, as well as presenting pieces by artists of international renown. Nineveh will be installed throughout the four galleries of the Cressman Center for Visual Arts located at 100 East Main Street, a short walk from 21c. 21c Museum commissioned the new work for exhibition during the IdeaFestival, which takes place in Louisville September 23 through 26. The IdeaFestival, founded in 2000, is a three-day event that brings together leading and highly diverse thinkers from across the nation and around the globe to explore and celebrate innovation, imagination, and new ideas.
Nineveh examines our role as one element in a vast ecological system. As people walk between the hanging plateaus along the passagewayswhich are only wide enough for one person to passthey will frequently encounter other visitors and must collaborate on how to make their way. The public literally becomes part of the work, illustrating through their negotiations the cooperation that is necessary for humans to live with and sustain the environment.
The plateaussome of which are up to eight by sixteen feet in dimensionappear to be solid blocks of earth, but are actually hollow forms with a thin layer of soil on their surface. Kellerman achieved the continuous undulating form by pouring latex over a frame filled with inflatable balls, then removing the balls after the latex had hardened. The resulting blocks were then seeded and left outside to enable grass to sprout and grow. All the materials used in Nineveh are biodegradable and will deteriorate naturally after de-installation.
Ezra Kellerman received his MFA from Louisiana State University and lives in Louisville. He has twice instructed and assisted at the Museum of Steel Sculpture at Coalbrookdale, England and has exhibited in several group and solo shows in England, Kentucky, and Louisiana.