LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art is the newest exhibition at the Speed Art Museum and runs through Jan 2.
WDRB’s Christie Battista spoke with the curator about the importance of it being in Louisville.
Q: So let’s talk about this exhibit for a little bit. It takes up two floors. It’s huge. There’s a lot to see and experience, and it’s not something that you just want to come around Halloween-time, right?
A: “Oh, no. This is an exhibition that deals with topics that we’ve dealt with for decades. The idea of ghost stories, hauntings, how ghosts keep populating our landscape and popping up everywhere.”
Q: So, we’re in the second floor of this exhibition. Tell us a little bit about what’s behind us, and there’s something real cool, a dust particle that’s really big.
A: “Yes, so if you can hear kind of the spirit wind kind of moving through the air behind us, what you’re looking at is Tony Oursler’s thought form, which reimagines if a dust particle was blown up billions of times. Is it made up of spirits and voices and everything that has gone around before. The floor on which we’re now standing addresses all of the artwork that deals with the world of the spirits, from ghosts to apparitions to extraterrestrials and aliens.”
Q: Very cool, and now what’s downstairs on the first floor of the exhibition?
A: “The whole first floor of the exhibition deals with the idea of America as a haunted place. Why do these ghosts keep popping up? What do we have to reckon with? How do we reconcile the past? How do we mourn? How do we make contact with the dead after they have passed? Why is that specific to America as a country?
Q: And, I think it’s really interesting to have this here specifically because there are only two other places that this exhibition is at, and how cool is it that it’s right here in Louisville?
A: “Yes, so the exhibition opened at the Toledo Museum this past summer. We have it here in Louisville. It opened around Halloween and runs through January 2nd, so here through the holidays, and of course when you think of “A Christmas Carol,” it’s all about ghosts right? Then, it goes to the Minneapolis Institute of Art opening in February.”
Q: I have to say Louisville kind of got prime spot around the year, right?
A: “Yes, so this exhibition has been in the plans for five years, so we’re really excited that we were able to bring it here to Louisville and that it could open at the Speed, so everybody in the region could come see it.”
Q: And then, afterwards all of these pieces go back to their rightful owners, and this is kind of a once in a lifetime thing here.
A: “It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are 221 works in the exhibition. It’s the biggest show the speed has ever done, and the show literally is made of loans that comes cross country, Seattle to Vermont, from Tampa to L.A. to Missouri to Texas. It is, comes from private collections in museums from across the U.S.A.”
Q: Erika, do you have a favorite piece here?
A: “Oh my god, the ghosts. Anything with the ghosts and the spirits, I love it.”
Q: It’s fascinating, and I’m sure every time you come through, you find something new that you haven’t seen before.
A: “Oh, absolutely. Even spending weeks installing this exhibition, I still can’t get enough.”
Q: And there’s something happening at the beginning of December for members specifically that’s really awesome. Can you share a little bit about that?
A: “Yes, so the organizing curator of the exhibition up in Minneapolis, Curator Robert Cozzolino, who produced the catalog for the show and did all of the research, will be coming here to the Speed on Thursday, Dec. 2 and giving a public lecture at 6 p.m. It is free for members. I encourage you to go to speedmuseum.org to sign up and again, another once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Q: And remind us of your hours and when you’re open for people to come through and see this exhibition.
A: “Yes, so we are open from Fridays from 1 to 8 and on Saturdays and Sundays.”
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