Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yellow Bench

Bench Around the Lake by Jeppe Hein
One of 15 undulating yellow-painted steel benches placed around
the park's lake.
 This one is located on the east side of the Lake,
with a view of  
Indianapolis Igloo, by Andrea Zittel

A few years ago, I was visiting one of the contemporary galleries 
at the Indianapolis Museum of Art when I turned a corner
and started laughing. What had caught my eye was one of those
creations about which one might hear, "That ain't art.
Shit, my kid could do better than that." 
Yeh, well, say what you want but the damn thing worked.
It was (and remains) a length of red cord, anchored with a thumb tack
at a point on the floor of the gallery and stretched to a
point on the window at just about the horizon line of where the 
trees in the distance meet the sky. That damn red line
defines the space in which it exists and carries your eye outside,
to the trees beyond. It's a thing of dumbfounding beauty.

The other thing that amazed me was that the IMA had
somehow managed to maintain a view outside
the west side windows of the building,
one without the visual corruption of cheap-ass
housing developments, apartments and strip malls;
I knew what was on the other side of the trees and it 
was nothing like the idyll that the red cord
pointed towards.   

A couple enjoys a spring afternoon picnic lunch
on The Meadow near the lake. 
As it turned out, what I had seen was a 100-acre parcel of land 
consisting of woods, wetlands, a meadow and a 35-acre lake 
which was developed and opened in 2010 as 
It is one of the largest museum art parks in the country and, so far,
the grounds contains ten site-specific works designed by
artists from around the world.

View of a portion of Stratum Pier by Kendall Buster,
2010. Steel and fiberglass viewing platform
overlooking the lake. The stacked layers
suggest a topographical map.

The Museum grounds consists of three distinct areas, 
all of them beautiful and lovingly tended by landscape designers 
and gardeners: the Museum grounds; Oldfields, the country mansion 
and estate that belonged to Josiah K. Lilly, Jr.;  and the 100 Acre Park. 
During the day, I explored some part of all three areas, 
concentrating my time in the Park. Of course,
I took an awful lot of pictures, so you can expect related
posts over the coming days. Unfortunately, however, 
it was not permitted to take pictures of the
red string that pointed me towards
my "hunnert acre wood" a few years back.


dive said...

As with maths and physics, you get "pure" art and "applied" art. I'm a huge fan of both, but I must say, the applied art in the park here is something that must brighten community life no end.
Wonderful to see.

Speedway said...

Hello, Dive. Sad about the astronomy wash-out, but it's raining here now, too. At least yesterday was nice. I spent 5 hours walking around the grounds and the museum. There were a lot of adults with children. Some people hadn't known of the Park's existence. Everyone enjoyed it. Many return often; I met a couple older men who were fishing in the lake, many joggers and some cyclists.

Meghan said...

Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard of this park, but I'll have to check it out next time we're in town.