Sunday, July 22, 2007

Some Initial Impressions of "Ghost Ballet"

We turned off 8th on to Broadway today and saw the new East Bank public art, "Ghost Ballet," dominating the view down Lower Broad. We were amazed at how large it looks from West Downtown. In fact, the closer we drove toward the river, the more it seemed to shrink. By the time we hit 1st, it did not look nearly so conspicuous.

We drove across the river and pulled up close to it while construction workers were busy putting it together. I noticed automatically that one side of the circular, red sculpture mimics the Shelby Street Bridge ironwork. S-townWife immediately observed that the other loop looks like the railroad tracks paralleling the river. It does look like a dance between the two lines of transport.

Pre-construction drawings of the sculpture have been getting panned and snarked on-line. The most common comparison is to a roller coaster. I was a little worried after seeing the drawings myself, but I am actually impressed by Ghost Ballet. Neither of us thought "roller coaster" when we saw it in real life and we left with favorable reviews.


  1. Well, I'm glad at least someone likes it :)

    I am really trying to reserve judgement until it's done, but ... I dunno..

  2. At least it's not a friggin' guitar or musical note.

    And it has a Yin-Yang quality unlike the Country Music HOF's bass clef shape. There's no Qi there.

  3. I am just thankful that Nashville is making public art a higher priority. Atlanta has an outdoor sculpture on almost every corner, its quite refreshing. I hope one day our corners will be so lucky:)

  4. I'm tired of hearing "it looks like a rollercoaster" almost every day. I wish people would try to perceive something beyond the most simplistic observations. I think it looks great, seemingly at the base of Broadway from 8th Avenue. And I agree, a giant guitar or music note would have been very embarrassing.

  5. Actually--What's wrong with "It looks like a roller coaster"? It does--the issue is, what's wrong with that? It's pure whimsey, as well as a work that pays overdue tribute to the gritty heritage of the East Bank. It nicely plays off the bridges and the light towers on LP Field, and its very resemblance to an amusement-park ride means that its appearance at the end of Lower Broad [Thanks for the photo, Mike!] adds to the carney character of the streetscape. It's fun, just like a mobile in a baby crib [It's a stabile, after all]. The people who are grousing are people who'll grouse at any public art that doesn't appropriately flatter the self-regard of a group to which they belong.