New Orleans' Ogden Museum has a show of photography up now through September 15th, 2015, organized in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's visit to the Louisiana coast.
The show is called The Rising, and according to folks at the Ogden is not intended to help us remember the storm's devastation, but instead to "celebrate the renewal and re-birth of the City of New Orleans" and "examine how photography was central to the revitalization of New Orleans."
The Ogden folks note that one consequence of Katrina's devastation of large parts of New Orleans was that "young photographers flocked to New Orleans and infused their creativity and vision into a city already known for its incomparable culture."
Thus, as the Ogden folks put it, this show celebrates "the explosion of new energy within the photographic arts community of New Orleans" by showcasing "the work of established, emerging, and recently-transplanted photographers living in New Orleans today" who are "are making exciting and innovative work in a supportive arts community that is expanding with unprecedented opportunities."
The Ogden Museum was the first arts institution in New Orleans to open after Katrina. The Museum has worked with the New Orleans Photo Alliance (formed in 2006), and Prospect.1 (organized in 2008), to mount a collective arts exhibition intended to foster a creative outlet to "enable a community to recover and begin the process of healing" in "what is frequently called the most unique city in America."
The Rising show features photography by Sophie Lvoff, Jonathan Traviesa, Tammy Mercure (see image directly above), Colin Roberson, L. Kasimu Harris (see image 2 up), William Widmer (see image at the top of this blog entry), Jennifer Shaw (see image below), AnnieLaurie Erickson, Cristina Molina, Vanessa Centeno, and David Armentor.
You may click here to download a pdf of the show's catalogue and see more work by all the photographers featured in the show.
Since I posted this blog entry, this show, and especially the work of L. Kasimu Harris, has received strongly positive notice by Cameron Shaw, writing in the NY Times.
Shaw says of this show, and of this image:
"There’s one photograph in “The Rising” that counters any nagging feeling of finality in these visions, which reminds the viewer that history is continually being rewritten, and that’s a good thing.
"L. Kasimu Harris’s “The Road Ahead” (2013) is a staged close-up of a dapper couple behind the wheel of a vintage car; their beautiful brown-skinned faces point straight ahead, slight smiles on their lips, eyes intentionally fixed on what’s to come.
"The road of history is long, and while some memories may mark us forever, 10 years is but a brief beginning."
And so art continues its historic process of interpreting, and potentially redeeming, the time.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this fine show.