Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Orleans Part II

Terrell House, New Orleans. All photos courtesy the author unless otherwise noted.

I was in New Orleans during the weekend of November 12 for the opening of Brandon Anschultz's Kranzberg series show that Laumeier Sculpture Park co-organized with the Longue Vue House and Gardens. Laumeier's director of exhibitions and collections Kim Humphries, curator of the show, and his partner Sarah Colby and I flew to New Orleans on Friday to see the show. We stayed at the Terrell House on Magazine Street--what a treat!

Brandon Anschultz work at Longue Vue. Photo courtesy Sarah Colby.

Longue Vue's director Joe Baker make the entire home available to Brandon, who made a glorious range of small sculptural interventions throughout the Stern's mansion. The video work in the living room tv cabinet was particularly hysterical; it was as if a manic maid found hair and dust just after the Stern's left the room.

Street corner in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Sarah, Kim and I spent Saturday looking at art in New Orleans. We ran into a funeral parade on Treme Street--hauntingly appropriate in light of the fabulous series on HBO. Surreal and exquisite at the same time.

Parade as it flowed down the street.

I couldn't quite read the image on the t-shirts that many of the parade followers wore, but as we tried to track them in the neighborhood, they disappeared, like the ghost of the dead child on the shirt.

Parade as they passed us by.

Saturday was also the opening of Prospect 1.5 events.

Rashaad Newsome at Good Children.

The video by Rashaad Newsome at Good Children was particularly beautiful. African American women on a stage played a call-and-response to the women on the screen, the subject of the video being responsibility. No excuses, the singers seemed to say, take responsibility. There was no information on context but the work was beautifully produced and mournful, like the afternoon parade.

Performance at The Front.

The show at The Front, across from Good Children, was equally engaging but for different reasons.

We visited another gallery but were quite disappointed by what we saw. A great accidental dinner at Dominique's capped a great weekend.

White chocolate crocodile at the N.O. airport.

When I was in New Orleans many years ago visiting a friend we went to the zoo and saw their albino crocodile. The beast looked like a creepy, haunted white asparagus, so when it raised its head to yell, it packed quite a kick. When I saw this chocolate souvenir at the airport I laughed out loud--the ghost of the crocodile returns!

New Orleans is in the throes of an artistic change, and I hope Laumeier can continue the dialogue with the city that spawned so much of contemporary St. Louis.