Brent Green at Andrew Edlin Gallery

House Opened Up, Mixed media, 2010

Review by Jill Conner

Since 2005 Brent Green has transformed unique but mundane narratives into quick, sporadic short films that appear as ephemeral and authentic as found objects while exposing the jitteriness of a self-taught artist. This characteristic sets Green’s work free from the bind of history and keeps it original rather than redundant. The artist’s most recent work titled, “Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then” (2010) initially appeared in two locations, at the International Film Center and the Andrew Edlin Gallery. Along with the artist’s blue-grass style of music, the film and the movie sets recreate a sentimental story about an outsider who lived in Kentucky and built a tall, winding house in order save his ailing wife’s life. Sanity slips away as reality meets fiction and quickly becomes another place, spinning Green’s most recent piece into a transgressive tale.

Mary's First Memory, video still 2010

Several years ago, Green was notified about an architectural anomaly outside of Louisville, Kentucky, shortly before it was torn down. While the artist studied and documented the structure, he got to know the life story of Leonard Wood, someone nobody knew but who worked at a small hardware store. With barely any money in his bank account throughout his life, Wood was clairvoyantly resourceful, inventing solutions to problems that had no answer.
“Gravity” is the artist’s first short film that involves actors rather than puppets or plastic cells of animation. True to style, these actors are not professional and their dialogue is mostly substituted by Green’s spirited narrative. Filmed in the backyard of Green’s home in Pennsylvania, this piece embellishes the details of an odd life lived in the rural countryside.

Mary with Moon, video still, 2010

Nobody knows where Wood came from, or his wife for that matter, but when they met their friendship carried a unique chimera. The crux of the movie shifts quickly into Wood’s focus on illness and his intent to build a tall, winding house into the sky as some sort of healing machine, destined to save his wife. The Andrew Edlin Gallery featured Green’s rendering of Wood's interior, which looks like it came straight from a fairytale. In France, this type of fanciful thinking is referred to as “Art Brut.” At the edge of sanity, a creative avant-garde swirls but often leads nowhere. Green states that Wood continued to build this structure, long after his wife’s death, until he fell to the ground and spent the rest of his life in a nursing home. Regardless, this short film is deeply memorable due to its erratic, nontraditional structure.


Hey! Thanks for posting about this film. You've sparked my interest and I'll definitely check it out. Keep up the good work! - Laura