COMMUNITY ART IN THE POST-DISASTER LANDSCAPES OF TODAY
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Site #26: NOCCA Visual Art Renegades "Black, White, Blue" Milne Boys Home: 5420 Franklin Avenue, Gentilly: Unveiling: Mar 15
ARTinACTION is pleased to announce Director Elizabeth Underwood's collaboration with a collective of NOCCA visual art students on the former Milne Boys Home site in Gentilly. In their efforts to address the Milne Boys Home's history of segregation as well as the city's negligence regarding the removal of the blue tarps installed on the Milne rooftops post-Katrina, the artists worked with old and new blue tarps to "segregate" the blue with the surrounding landscape. Creating obviously sculpted mixed-media works amongst the tattered remaining tarps, a narrative is initiated exploring the tension between good intentions and neglect. At what point do the traces of disaster become integrated into the "new" environment? How responsible is "the human hand" in the construction (or deconstruction) of the aesthetics of a post-disaster community? Should a community that is fighting for attention embrace or critique the signs of this lack of attention? By raising a blue tarp on the flagpole, the artists make an ironic and proud statement expressing the power of victims of disaster to not just survive but thrive.
Milne Boys Home began in 1933 as a residential facility for troubled and needy boys. It was originally called the "Asylum for Wayward Orphans" and has gone through many incarnations - all proposing to tend to the needs of delinquent and impoverished young men. Since its inception, it has been under the jurisdiction of the Milne Trust, a private foundation that stipulates that the facility be run for boys. For some time now the City of New Orleans has been leasing the property from the Milne Trust.
ARTinACTION would like to thank Mary Len Costa, John Otis, Monty Burlingame, and the Milne Trust for their generous support of this project.