Last week I found myself in the Denver Art Museum staring at a sculpture featuring pairs of pantyhose attached to a blank white wall in vaguely-geometric patterns. Some of the pantyhose ends were filled with sand and resting on the floor. Right outside the exhibit played a video of a woman moving, dancing, and interacting with a similar arrangement of pantyhose. In the video, a musician played lightly and gently, the dancer moving to the music. She moved her body through the spaces in between the pantyhose and the wall and occasionally picked a strand of pantyhose and moved it where she wanted it to go. As she moved, the sculpture changed.
The entrance to the exhibit featured a quote by Senga Nengudi, the visual artist known for her abstract sculptures made of everyday objects and accompanying choreographed performances whose work was featured therein.
“How do you respond? To your environment, your city, your community? What do you make of this world? How do you transform what you find into what you would like it to be?”
Recently, Dry Bones outreach staff spent some time with college students from Northwestern College through a spring service partnership. As part of our time together, we stood and each stared at one square foot of earth below our feet. This was followed by kneeling down and observing that same square of earth. Finally, we laid face down in that square and stared intently at the earth below. By the time we laid down, blades of grass grazing our chins, we had spent about 10 minutes in silence staring at the ground.