Amidst all of the planning for the YWAs: Young Women Artists Exhibition at Wonder Fair, I was able to take time for some much-needed relaxation by visiting the Float installation at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City with my good friend Jennifer. This is a temporary work that will give you a new outlook on the art museum.
Artist Jarett Mellenbruch has installed eight hammocks on the front lawn of the Kemper in celebration of the museum’s 20th anniversary. Originally, this concept was executed on the lawn just south of the Kaufman Performing Arts Center. The artist’s stated goal was to let “visitors enjoy an interval of summertime relaxation in the normally underused municipal space.”
Revisiting this idea in a museum-related context is maybe a little gimmicky but still a fun way for visitors to interact with the museum in a fresh way. I love the connection between the web-like structure of the hammocks and Louise Bourgeois’s imposing Spider sculpture. Also, Bourgeois’s spiders are symbols of her mother, and the gravity-defying experience of being in a hammock kind of feels like hanging out in the womb.
The Kemper’s lawn has a big dip in it, making it easy to forget about the traffic on Warwick Boulevard and the city beyond. There is no doubt that hanging out in a hammock for a little while will change your perspective. So grab a friend and check out this free summer activitiy (or non-activity?). It runs through September.