Opening Reception: CAC’s Art for Arts’ Sake, Saturday, October 5, 6pm – 9pm
This Emerge Exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Emerge Visual Arts Program is supported by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.
Much of the vocabulary of movement—of exhalation and inspiration—reflects the capillary processes of trees. The fractal attenuation of trunks to twigs parallels the circulatory systems of humans and rivers. From above, the Mississippi delta resembles a tree. Histologies from the brain’s seat of sensory and motor control look like trees. Subways, highways, sewers, bile ducts and hepatic arteries branch and merge, circulate and drain. The flow is inexorable.
In the woods, as the sun moves, trees draw and redraw their reciprocal forms in shadows on the ground; their canopies filter the sky. After a hurricane, empty pilings stand where houses used to be. Torn and spindled stumps and twisted splintery shrapnel are the forensic remains of trees.
Once I drove a long way to visit a venerable old tree. But I needed a canoe to reach it.
Daily, Louisiana cedes ground to rising water. The weather grows ever more unpredictable. In heavy downpours, we say the sky is opening. Wind and water shape us.
The Mississippi clogs with sediment. An artery in the brain obstructs and explodes. Balls of grease block sewers; tar balls sink in the gulf. A fender-bender becomes a bottleneck. The lights under the dock draw the fish, and bait balls circle.
The housing bubble, the sprawl, the fallow subdivisions. Once you build a road, the lumber trucks follow. Young trees, loose-grained, their growth spurts laminated into plywood, sawn into posts lift houses ever higher. Runoff, backflow, effluvia: oil and water mix. The flow is inexorable.
The flow is inexorable.
Originally from Atlanta, Lee Deigaard has lived and worked in New Orleans since 2002. She graduated from Yale University with a major in fine arts and earned graduate degrees from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design and from the University of Texas at Austin where she held a Michener Fellowship in Creative Writing. She is represented in the Drawing Center’s Viewing Program in New York, and her Memorial to Topsy the elephant is on permanent display at the Coney Island Museum in Brooklyn, NY. In 2012, she won the Clarence John Laughlin Award for photography. In 2013, she has shown site-specific solo immersive installations at the Alexandria Museum of Art, the Acadiana Center for the Arts, and the Contemporary Art Center and at the Lumen Video Festival in New York City. Her solo show of photography Trespass opens at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in January 2014. She is a member of the artist collective The Front.
Emerge Gallery is dedicated to site-specific works by emerging artists.
Thanks to the following for supporting the CAC’s First Floor Initiative: Best Buy, Corporate Realty, Cox Communications, Edward Wisner Donation Fund/City of New Orleans, Ella West Freeman Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Nola Paint and Supplies—Farrell~Calhoun Paint, Selley Foundation, Aimée & Mike Siegel, SPUN Cafe at CAC
Supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.