Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Site #22: Jessica Bizer "Multi-Function Device" Jean Lafitte Pky @ Jean Lafitte Court, St. Bernard Parish

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"I was interested in using a dramatic, but possibly overlooked, element of the storm-damaged landscape as a jumping-off point for this installation. During my search for a site, this massive broken sign post caught my looked so absurd and out-of-place. It seemed to capture the upended, broken feeling of the surrounding landscape.

This piece is intended to continue the feeling of surprise that I felt when I first encountered the overturned sign. My idea was to create a small, positive, diversion in an otherwise bleak landscape. It is made mainly of pipes, plastic (which I have warped and melted), ducts and streamers. I connected, painted and decorated these disparate objects to suggest that they were related, or part of a system. However, I want the work's functional traits to be balanced a sense by ambiguity and mystery while the disparate elements of the piece appear organized, their overall purpose is not clear. Also, it was important that I use decorative, appealing colors and materials. These characteristics of the piece add a fanciful element to the work and contribute to its purpose as an appealing, mysterious diversion." Jessica Bizer (Please visit

We would like to thank Guy Trentecosta, the property owner, for his generous support and enthusiasm for this project.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Site #21: Butch Merigoni "Sunrise" 9001 Pritchard Place, New Orleans

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"'Sunrise' is a boxing match in which I will be the only contender. The bout will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday August 6th and end the next day as the sun fully rises (appx. 6 a.m). The consecutive rounds will be 3 minutes in length, divided by 1 minute breaks. Other breaks might be taken out of necessity. This performance will take place on a makeshift boxing ring built in front of Gregory White's home in New Orleans. His neighborhood, a community that is a quarter of what it was before Katrina, is one of many still struggling to rebuild.

The challenges of darkness (literal and metaphorical) truly exist in our lives, no matter how conscious we are of them. Though I will be standing in the middle of what can be the fearful night and repeatedly surrendering, I trust that I will come out whole into the clarity of the next day. In this regard, 'Sunrise' is symbolic of the devotion and risk that life in post-K New Orleans demands of its citizens.

Visitors are welcome to visit the performance at any time but I invite those who make the trek to stay for as long as possible. Given that 'Sunrise' is essentially about allowing quiet space to grow out of surrender, and falling into that space once it has opened, this process will take time. By investing in the performance of 'Sunrise' (the audience is as much a part of the work as anything else) you will participate in the performance and make it your own - it is as much for me as it is for everyone struggling to "let go" and recover their lives. That said, 'Sunrise' is especially dedicated to Gregory's family for many reasons, the least being that their contribution to this performance is priceless.

- Butch Merigoni