COMMUNITY ART IN THE POST-DISASTER LANDSCAPES OF TODAY

Monday, December 4, 2006

Site/s #11: Generic Art Solutions: Bywater & Lower 9th Ward

Click on photos to enlarge.

Generic Art Solutions, (please visit the GAS website), is the collaborative efforts of multimedia artists Matt Vis and Tony Campbell. Campbell and Vis were educated on either side of the pond; Campbell-London, Vis-New Orleans. This Art Team was conceptualized in New York, and their artistic union was galvanized when both artists moved to New Orleans.

G.A.S. creates their own corporate entity by using the advertising/marketing vocabulary, and as in the advertising world, the creative process is often a team activity. G.A.S is not limited in style, media or message. Their ideas lead their aesthetics, and they strive to make art appropriate for modern living.

G.A.S. uses performance as a tool, but not in the traditional sense. There is no stage/audience separation. It is an on-the-fly, unscripted intercourse. This forum questions where art begins and real life ends.

G.A.S. makes concept driven artwork, often with humor and/or mischief at its core. G.A.S uses humor as a deconstruction tool, establishing the familiar, the stereotypical scenario, but ultimately turns our expectations on their head. G.A.S demands their audience to look beyond the punch line. In reference to Generic Art Solutions the famous New Orleans art critic Doug McCash coined the term "Comic Conceptualists", which is neither rejected by nor embraced by Generic Art Solutions.

Katrina Trees:
Since the hurricane the New Orleans landscape has change in many significant ways, one of which was the sudden explosion of contractor ads in the cities neutral grounds and telegraph poles. G.A.S welcome this phenomenon as a new forum for art. Katrina Trees is a conceptual attempt to freshen up our city as well as advertise Generic Art Solutions as artists.

Hurricane Free Zone Signs:
Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S) have installed in New Orleans street signs declaring various areas a "Hurricane Free Zone". This street sign was inspired by the Drug Free Zone signs found in many Neighbourhood across the country. This sign is a direct response to the inaction of government to protect New Orleans from Hurricanes (levee failure). G.A.S feel that people who are confronted with situations which are out of their control are forced to lean purely on hope, faith, collective positivity,
superstition and a little luck.
The signs read :
"Hurricane Free Zone
Hope can make a difference
Positive thoughts brought to you by Generic Art Solutions"

This is an on-going project and more zones will follow soon.





















10 comments:

stevokeefe said...

C'mon man, talk to us. The Hurricane-Free Zone sign is way cool, but what's with the busted pine tree?

ARTinACTION said...

It's entirely my fault that their artist statement wasn't up sooner: while traveling to Detroit I haven't had access to a computer & couldn't publish their text. I think they do fantastic work & explain it quite eloquently.

Steve O'Keefe said...

Thank you for the explanation!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

Stu Hollins

all night ninos said...

You guys are so DEVO !!! Its like a comic book abstactika Ha Ha Do you have the name of a good screenprinter? I do. .......gurrilla art fun---S.from Florida

ARTinACTION said...

aw that's spot on: Devo! I felt like I was in a fabulous deconstructivist new wave performance piece, tagging along while they worked. They do all the printing themselves too! They're serious renaissance (New Orleanian) men!

Is "Guerrila Art Fun" in New Orleans?

ARTinACTION said...

or is that just what you call G.A.S?!! (cuz they are Guerilla Art Fun!)

Hey, big picture I want AiA participants to be a part of a "Creative Response Team" (Courtney Egan's responsible for the name) who will travel to sites of catastrophe/devastation worldwide to help folks initiate a creative response to the experience. The idea is that it's going to happen everywhere eventually (in this worldwide political/enviromental climate) and that we're learning some hard-core skills here that we can share w/others. Getting infrastructures up etc is all very important but wearing coveralls & hardhats while posting signs you made that pose a funny/positive commentary on the situation is equally important. Go Creative Response Team! All Night Ninos could be our band!

Anonymous said...

G.A.S is also the "Art Cops", is this well known? I hear Elizabeth Underwood is in their new Art Cops-New Orleans video getting an art violation ticket! Also, Srdjan Loncar gets a surprise visit at his studio...really funny stuff!

Anonymous said...

The broken pine tree is a reference to all the tree damage from the hurricane (it really was major, especially east of New Orleans; and quite depressing). It also referenced the "Mardi Gras Air Freshner" project that G.A.s does each year when they hang 3-foot air fresheners around the stinkiest parts of New Orleans during Mardi Gras...the slogan is "Keep it Fresh, with Fresh Ideas from G.A.S"

sbobet said...

thanks ysboou for arsbochive