COMMUNITY ART IN THE POST-DISASTER LANDSCAPES OF TODAY

Friday, April 20, 2007

Site 17: "O No!" Jonathan Traviesa; Jefferson Davis Parkway Neutral Ground, Mid-City

(Click on images to enlarge.)

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This is the re-installation of Jonathan's "O Water!" piece found below (Site #3)

"Some time in mid-March, I discovered the glass pitcher for "O Water!" broken. A shard was still (grimly) hanging from the orange rope with many more scattered pieces on the grass below. Near the sand map of Louisiana (which at this point had now overgrown with unexpected healthy-looking grass) a fist-sized scrap of concrete lay - probably the weapon used by ?____curious kids? For a split second, I felt the sting of losing something. Then I almost immediately felt very fortunate that a simple art installation out in the general public / raw environment had lasted as long as this one had. I removed all the glass shards for safety reasons and went home.

A few days later I thought about glueing the pieces together and reinstalling it because it had originally intrigued and amused many people who encountered it. I couldn't quite resolve the idea to reinstall the pitcher and fill it up with bayou/lake water again because it seemed too repetative an action after the form had been violently altered and crudely repaired. Only when I LOOSELY connected the silly act of destruction to the pitcher with the senseless violence circulating the streets of New Orleans did I feel justified in reinstalling the pitcher and the sand map. This time however, instead of water being tentatively suspended above our land in the smooth rounded form of the original unbroken pitcher, the scrap of concrete rests inside the mangled/mended pitcher - a symbol of fragility and violence hanging in the air." Jonathan Traviesa

(Thanks to the Florida group with Monica and Marco who assisted with the reinstallation of "O No!" as part of their ArtInAction tour.)

2 comments:

craig said...

destruction to the pitcher with the senseless violence circulating the streets of New Orleans ,,,,,,

what is it with someone who has to expend energy to destroy

ARTinACTION said...

It's a good question and we all know there's no easy answer. Could just be young bored kids without much to look forward to in their daily lives - but why, and how? If the cobbled-together-pitcher can make someone wonder about it, why is it that way, what does it mean - in some way they're pondering those questions as they apply to the devastated neighborhood that surrounds it, and the city. The violence is so complicated and hard to understand - we have to just keep asking questions and resisting the easy way out.