THE PARTHENON AND OTHER MYTHOLOGIES, 1995
The Parthenon Museum — Nashville, Tennessee
The Blum Gallery, College of the Atlantic — Bar Harbor, Maine
A collaborative mixed-media installation with painter/brother Jim Cogswell
THE PARTHENON AND OTHER MYTHOLOGIES was inspired by the unique architecture of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and the full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee. Built for the centennial celebration of Tennessee’s statehood at a time when Nashville referred to itself as “the Athens of the South”, Cogswell siblings, Jim and Margaret, created a piece that paid tribute both to this idealized vision of Nashville and its legendary history as the country music capital of the United States. Playing with the Parthenon’s allusion to perspective with its tilted columns and the usual use of plumb bobs to designate a plumb/vertical line, plumb bobs were created with books and records and suspended throughout the space in an ironic reference to the temple’s columns. Panels of prints on canvas were embedded in plaster and suspended in line with the architectural floor plan of the Parthenon’s famous friezes in between the plumb bobs which designated the location of the columns.
After its original installation in the Parthenon in Nashville, the installation traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine where, using the floorplan of the original Parthenon, it was reconfigured to the Blum Gallery at the College of the Atlantic.