Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Site #25: Sean Derry "An Interlude To Stillness" Broad @ Bienville, Mid-City Nov 13 - 17

Images from Sean Derry's performative/temporary Mid-City installation, "Interlude To Stillness":

(Please visit New Orleans' WWOZ website to listen to Eve Abrams' "Street Talk" profile of this installation/ArtInAction!(click on blue text).)

YouTube video of "An Interlude to Stillness", shot by Courtney Egan.

Please click on photos to enlarge. All photos ©Elizabeth Underwood unless otherwise noted.

Above photo ©Jonathan Traviesa

Above photo ©Jonathan Traviesa

ArtInAction would like to thank John Baus of New Orleans Leasing and Properties, Santos Automotive Center, Fairgrinds Coffee, Whole Foods Market, the New Orleans Arts Council, and the Mid-City neighborhood of this site whose generous support made this project possible.

Site #24: Maxime Demetrio/Naftali Beane Rutter "Brooklyn Portal" 543 Union Street, Brooklyn New York

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Please click on photos to enlarge.

"As our work came clearer on this wall throughout the day, we were visited by a boy on his way home from school. Alex looked at the wheat-paste photo-mural of the Lower 9th Ward post-Katrina stoop - I asked him if he might know where the photo had been taken. His first guess, “New Orleans.”

Alex got silent for a little while. He asked Max a few questions about his skateboard and then out of the blue, “On September 11th, we could feel the shaking at my school.” Then he told us his story of that day.

More boys from the neighborhood joined us and Max took them under his willing wing for a bit of legal spray-paintery. I took a moment to think about Alex and his thinking.

This young boy had "stepped into" the New Orleans/Brooklyn Portal and shared his story in the safety of strangers on a late November afternoon. For a moment the Portal had worked and the larger purpose of activating the art-making process as a way to deal with pain and connect people had been achieved. For a moment, Alex had sat down on his neighbor’s steps." Naftali Beane Rutter

Please look for the documentary “Your Neighbor’s Steps” chronicling ArtInAction’s sponsorship of “The New Oreans/Brooklyn Portal Project” coming soon to Current TV.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Site #23: [ ] Projects "The Home Repo Project" 1432 Aviators Street, Lakeview

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[ ] Projects is a collaborative group consisting of four artists: Rachel Jones, JeffRinehart, Natalie Sciortino and Fernando Braxton. "The Home Repo Project" is the groups' first effort as a collective. [ ] Projects joins with ArtInAction in their efforts to cultivate relationships between the creative class of New Orleans, traumatized landscapes, and our community as a whole. [ ] Projects aim to address issues of safety and domesticity with their work at this site.

"The Home Repo Project" occupies an overgrown lot in the blighted Lake Vista community. Working on site for several weeks we began to feel intimately connected to the neighborhood. We grew accustomed to its rhythms and began to feel as if we were contributing to the surrounding reconstruction efforts. Parallel to this experience of being part of a community we very often found ourselves alone in the landscape. This acted as a sobering reminder of how far this specific neighborhood has to go in its efforts of recovery and how isolated one can feel living in a post-K environment.

In response to this experience of connectivity we set out to build something that would act as a symbol of life and, in our own way, ‘rebuilding’. The simple gestures of our work became an important ritual given the context of this particular space.

"The Home Repo Project" is an interactive installation. The work cannot be fully experienced without the viewer navigating throughout the piece, stepping over yarn, considering where and how to move next. In doing so the participant is judging space, making active decisions, and internalizing the amount of time and effort these actions will take. What seems like a simple act of walking across the polished slab becomes complex and delicate. Many participants of "The Home Repo Project" speak of parallels in their own everyday post-K lives: moments of frustration or confusion mixed with small flashes of relief followed by a sense of accomplishment.”

Many thanks to David Sullivan and his family for allowing the use of their property and for their wholehearted support of our efforts.