The first in a series of exhibitions, presented at the Luminary Center for the Arts' temporary space on Cherokee Street and devoted to exploring how artists and alternative art spaces survive in a precarious economy, How to Build a World That Won't Fall Apart features works by Luminary co-founders Brea and James McAnally. The collaboratively conceived sculptures and installations riff on the theme of labor, integrating locally sourced hard-hat materials: bricks salvaged from the Pevely demolition site, rubble from the Cherokee building that will be the Luminary's new home. Five chrome-plated "ceremonial shovels" (decorative facsimiles manufactured and customized exclusively for groundbreaking ceremonies) line up along the gallery's back wall, their shiny blades engraved with a quote from Joseph Beuys: "You cannot wait for a tool without blood on it." A shiny white Plexiglas cube sits in front of two rows of smaller white cubes, its midsection bleeding with a glossy gash of red nail polish. A narrow line of vinyl text affixed to an adjacent wall reads, "Monday/I'm o.k./Wednesday/I'm o.k./Friday/I'm o.k.," etc., while a nearby video features a motivational speaker admonishing his off-screen audience to confront their deepest fears. But wait! There's more! This dense, rigorously constructed show offers a plethora of details, to be taken in on multiple levels. Like the sculpture that consists of a small grid of white feathers mounted upright in cement with a brick balanced on their tips, it seems to imply that the labor of art is at once impossibly light and weighty. Through November 10 at the Luminary Center for the Arts, 2644 Cherokee Street; 314-807-5984 or www.theluminaryarts.com. Hours: noon-6 p.m. Wed., Fri., Sat.
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