Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Prospect1 in New Orleans

I'm a little late to post these, but I was still learning to use my new compact digital camera and how to download the photos. Anyway, last month Thayer Dodd and I went to New Orleans to see the Prospect1 exhibits in New Orleans. It closed on Jan 18th, and we managed to get there on Jan 16th. This is an international contemporary art biennial, and we are very lucky that there was one close enough for us in Mobile to check it out. The purpose of Prospect1 was to help highlight the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, especially the severely devastated areas in the lower Ninth Ward district. There were exhibits all over the city and it was too much to see everything in one day, so we concentrated on the Ninth Ward exhibits and installations. Here are a few photos of our favorites. We also included a visit to the environmentally responsible design new homes (sponsored by the Brad Pitt "Make It Right" foundation), which are being constructed in the areas so severely impacted by the floods following the breaches in the industrial canal levees. I think this was all a great idea - to bring the public to the hardest hit areas and show them the spirit of the people who are still in the community and why they want to rebuild.

This house was gutted on the lower floor, but all the upstairs rooms had these beautifully painted murals of marsh and swamp scenes.

Below is an installation on vacant lots in the lower Ninth Ward (note the concrete pads which is all that is left of previous homes). This is known locally as "The Ark", and is composed of salvaged plyboard and old movie posters.

I was tickled "pink" by the signage on the debris disposal container (Demo Diva).
Here is the doghouse which is where most of the residents think FEMA should reside.
Here is a row of houses completed by the "Make It Right" group. They all have solar panels and capture the rainwater for irrigation, etc. I really liked the yellow one with the asymmetrical roofline.
The installation below is pretty much symbolic of the exhibition - hoping to give them a ladder up and hope for the future.

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