Thursday, March 29, 2007

Takashi Horisaki to do project in New Orleans

Takashi Horisaki is an artist who spent 3 years in New Orleans, graduated from Loyola, and he now lives in NYC. Upon a post -Katrina visit he was inspired to do work about the state of things here. He wrote the following:

"Last June, I revisited New Orleans and shocked the situation. Since then, as an artist, I have been concerned about all level of political social and cultural issues over there. Several good exhibitions about New Orleans happened in NYC, but felt missing such a physical reality that I got there. So, I started thinking about how possibly under my situation, I were able to contribute to these issues that supposed to be nation level.

I completed my proposal late December and that is "Social Dress New Orleans - 730 days after." One of my recent sculpture works is Social Dress series. I use pure liquid latex to apply onto object mainly buildings, let it dry, carefully peel it off with all surface substances and exhibit in a different space. I thought finding entire toppled shotgun house in New Orleans, painting latex, peeling it off, bringing it to NYC and recreate the house here will be good piece to physically present and speaking up about those issues still happening over there.

Fortunately, one of institutions well accepted this project proposal and will be solo exhibition coming Summer. At Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York between 7/29 and 10/28, this sculpture will be exhibited coming with documentary film screening and publishing a book of this project."

Please take a look at his blog and his remarkable work. He will keep us here posted about his project.

Monday, March 19, 2007


A Performance by Butch Merigoni
New Orleans, March 8, 2007

A New York artist, originally from New Orleans, Butch Merigoni returned to New Orleans with a relatively rare visual arts performance. Not that art performance has disappeared, but unlike the seeming heyday for this medium in New Orleans when I arrived in the late 1970s and 1980s, it seems too long absent. Many of us remember the CAC and even the New Orleans Museum presenting performances.

Butch’s intent was that this piece serve as a combination of his reaction to the post-Katrina world of New Orleans and an empathetic response to the artists and others still living with that rather surreal reality. One knows that, in fact, the artist’s ability to focus significant light on, or aid in overcoming the insanity of, such a social, economic and political collapse is likely to be minor. However, each of us speaks with the power of the media we are competent in. It seems as well, that an art performance may be pretty much as successful as all the documentaries, political visits, and editorializing that has already taken place. In any event, Butch appeared to realize that, as artist do, he was speaking to the audience in attendance and expressing his need to comment. That is sufficient.

In short, Merigoni, dressed in a rather insubstantial white pair of pants and t-shirt, without shoes, stood in the empty streets of Gentilly at night and pelted himself with 144 (twelve dozen, a gross) raw eggs. After this painfully extended process, he removed his soiled cloths and poured water over himself to cleanse his body, dressed and left. The whole process took approximately 30 minutes.

Two of the essential decisions made in such art acts became the key to the success of this piece – pace and place. A three dozen egg performance was not an option. As with all of us who have endured the barrage of small and large blows for over 18 months by institutions, contractors, and thoughtless talking heads, too much seems never enough. For thirty minutes the central sound in that once bustling Gentilly neighborhood was that of eggs breaking over and over and over on the artists body. The tension built as the blows continued and the performer, shaking in the cold night air, persisted well past our grasping of what he “meant” to say. His slow, deliberate and trance-like countenance was mesmerizing and not a little painful to us all.

Place counted on two other levels. This near empty and almost silent part of New Orleans was a companion performer, but so was the fact that Merigoni stood on a sewer cover where the detritus of the eggs mounted under his bare feet. The performance was lit by twelve participants each holding a flashlight. Each had some power to control what was focused on. It was not incidental that such temporary lighting was for so long part of our mode of survival. (I won’t try to impose my interpretation of the possible rationale for persistence of the number 12 in the piece, but it clearly has symbolic power)

As I mentioned afterwards to the artist, the phrase “You have to break some eggs to make an omelet” kept coming to mind. However, as did he, we all seem to just wash off the muck, start the next day, and have long given up the idea that an omelet will ever be forthcoming.

Gerald L. Cannon

Video: Patricia Sills

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Claude Gallery Hop

This Saturday, March 24, Barrister's Gallery , Farrington Smith Gallery and l'art Noir New Orleans have coordinated their openings to offer you a gallery-hopping experience St. Claude Ave.-style.

For Barrister's Gallery, this is also an inaugural show at their new location of 2331 St. Claude Ave. and Spain. I saw the space at about the halfway point in its construction, and it promised to be very nice. The show is new works on paper by Myrtle Von Damitz, III and is entitled, "I'm Running Out of Coffee and It Smells Like Rotten Onions." The artist's reception on Saturday is from 4-9 p.m.

At Farrington Smith Gallery, there will be paintings by Steve Richardson and Katherine Thompson. Our artist's reception will be from 6-9 pm, and you can find us at 2514 St. Claude Ave. at Franklin.

Furthur down the way at 4108 St. Claude Ave., l'art Noir is opening their Comic Art Show, which includes work by Tony "Baloney" Juliano, Henriette Valium, and Caeser Meadows.

We're excited to be building on the art scene over here in the Marigny/Bywater; please stop by any or all of these shows this Saturday, March 24!

-from Amy Farrington

Friday, March 2, 2007

48 Hour Film School Introduced to New Orleans

yall check out the film and share your thoughts -

February 13, 2007 - New Orleans, LA
As part of its continuing efforts to provide affordable, hands-on
training to aspiring filmmakers, the New Orleans Video Access Center
(NOVAC) and the Digital Filmmaking Institute (DFI) held the first
ever “48 Hour Film School” workshop on January 27-28th. The end
result was a completed short film entitled Breaking Bread which was
produced by workshop participants, edited in one day, and now
available online at

Within the first 24 hours at the LIFT Production Offices, students
learned the basics of pre-production planning and hands-on techniques
in camera/lighting/sound. On day two, the class moved to an Uptown
park, which served as the location for Breaking Bread . While
producing the short film, students received applied set and technical
experience in camera, sound, lighting, production assistance, and
directing. Many students also served as “extras,” with local actors
Kevin Barraco and Tanner playing the lead roles.

Breaking Bread was shot and edited in one day, confirming the belief
of NOVAC executive director Tim Ryan that “anyone with a story to
tell, a technical understanding of the equipment, and a devoted group
of friends/family can produce their own digital films in a short
period of time.”

Jason Vowell and Wylie Whitesides, two local independent filmmakers,
facilitated the workshop. “It’s really important to actually do
instead of teach…A lot of people think it costs a ton of money and
takes a ton of experience to make a good short film….That’s just not
the case anymore. Better quality and lower prices for equipment, and
the ability to broadcast your creations over the Internet, are really
changing the way the world thinks about their entertainment choices.
Our class gave the students an upper hand in that world,” said Vowell.

In addition to the “48 Hour Film School” workshop, NOVAC’s DFI offers
other affordable digital filmmaking training, including the following
upcoming workshops: Introduction to Final Cut Pro (Feb. 24-25,
$225), DV Camera and Lighting (March 10 - $125), and DVD Studio Pro
(March 24-25 $225). In July, NOVAC will also be offering a one-week
digital film camp for teens. Visit for more
information on the first-come, first-served workshop registration

NOVAC Digital Filmmaking Institute
Tim Ryan, NOVAC
(504) 339-4350