Friday, September 19, 2008
beware the "proliferation of 21st century art" !
For those of you who don't know, the Vieux Carre Commission is like a neighborhood association for the French Quarter. Yesterday's Times-Picayune reported about the commission's meeting with artists G.A.S. and Dawn Dedeaux on the front page. The artists are hoping to place their works in the French Quarter; Matt Vis and Tony Campbell's proposal is specific to Bourbon Street, and is about as inconspicuous as public art can be, a series of manhole cover-like pieces to be set into the sidewalk. Dawn Dedeaux's work is a revisioning of the venerable stoop. The Veiux Carre Commission rejected the artists' proposals for their temporary installations, the main reason seeming to be a fear of "a proliferation of 21st-century modernist works that would screw up the square." (There are certainly precedents for contemporary art mixing with history in exciting and successful ways, such as the Venice Biennale...) So, amidst the painters with permits, tarot card readers and the guys who paint themselves silver and stand still, contemporary art has no place? Amidst t-shirt shops and strip clubs on Bourbon Street, a little humor can't be installed in the sidewalk? What is notable, is that this may be the first time contemporary artists have approached the Vieux Carre Commission to do installations in the Quarter. This is artist-initiated, with support from granting agencies, and not solicited by the Commission, and I don't think they've had to deal with such initiatives in the past. Feel free to call in your comments to the commission and support some trailblazers. and thank you to Joan Mitchell Foundation, again.