The Damned Dam at the CAC, New Orleans

October 1, 2011 – January 29, 2012
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
900 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130


NOLA NOW, Part I:  Swagger for a Lost Magnificence

A snapshot reflecting a community, NOLA NOW, Part I:  Swagger for a Lost Magnificence, brings together thirty-five artists (thirty-four artists and one collaborative team) producing work in a culturally specific geographical locale that has been strongly impacted by recent sociopolitical and economic circumstances. Made within the last two years, the work encompasses a multitude of impressions and imagery presented through drawing, film, installation, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, sound, and video. One of the many links is what can best be described as a pining for the past. Thus, Swagger for a Lost Magnificence (2010), a film by Ashley Brett Chipmanaptly titled after a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night —serves as a subtitle for NOLA NOW, Part I. Many of the works in the exhibition are not necessarily nostalgic, but express a desire for an economy we once knew, an environment less scathed, or even a stronger sense of purpose in a world where things fall apart over and over again. Also found in many of the works is a sense of movement, a physical traversing from one place to another, or, in the Surrealist tradition, a philosophical or psychological journey that seeks to expand the possibilities of human experience. And finally, the notion of “home” and how it defines the individual is overwhelmingly apparent in NOLA NOW, Part I. The influx of a new creative class to New Orleans, paired with the return of many who were displaced as a result of the events that unfolded following Hurricane Katrina, has undoubtedly affected artists living in this city. NOLA NOW, Part Ithoughtfully considers our sense of place and self, exploring a landscape of ideas and visions that embodies where we are as much as where we dream of being.

Artists in NOLA NOW, Part I:  Swagger for a Lost Magnificence are Michele Basta, Ron Bechet, Angela Berry, James Taylor Bonds, Kyle Bravo, Hannah Chalew, Ashley Brett Chipman, Teresa Cole, Aaron Collier, Andy Cook, Dawn DeDeaux, James Goedert, Dave Greber, Sally Heller, Stephen Hilger, Debra Howell, Gene Koss, Erica Lambertson Philippe, Robin Levy, Srdjan Loncar, Sophie T. Lvoff, Grace Mikell, Jennifer Odem, Mary Jane Parker, Brooke Pickett, Duane Pitre, Lala Raščić, Kate Ryan, Club S + S (Stephen Paul Day and Sibylle Peretti), Christopher Saucedo, Nina Schwanse, Margot Walsh, Carl Joe Williams, Monica Zeringue, and Luba Zygarewicz.

A series of curatorial essays will be accessible throughout the exhibition at