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Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

LUNDI

February 20th

Glen David Andrews

d.b.a., 10PM

Treme trombone man brings it on a Monday ($5)

 

Detox to Retox

Big Easy 'Bucha, 6:30PM

Free yoga and kombucha for a mid-Carnival cleanse

 

Jazz Manouche Mondays

The Dragon's Den, 7PM

Cover all your bases with a gypsy jazz jam session, dance lesson, and dinner potluck 

 

Blue Velvet & Kuwaisiana & Green Gasoline

The Allways Lounge and Theatre, 7PM

A triple threat lineup of independent rockers

 

Alexis & The Samurai

d.b.a., 7PM

Indie folk duo perform every Monday

 

Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses

Maison, 7PM

Nealand and her band have a fresh take on traditional jazz

 

Alex McMurray

Chickie Wah Wah, 8pm

A New Orleans classic, belting out fox-trot slot-machine music

 

Bluegrass Pickin' Party

Hi-Ho Lounge, 8PM

Bring an instrument and join in 

 

Comic Strip 

Siberia, 9PM

Burlesque and standup ($5)

 

Poetry on Poets

Cafe Istanbul, 9PM

Weekly poetry open mic with live music ($5)

 

Brass-A-Holics

Blue Nile, 10PM

NOLA brass with a touch of DC go-go

 

 

MARDI

February 21st

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 8PM & 10PM

Galactic drummer's side project

 

Film Screening

Burgundy Picture House, 8PM

John Cassavetes' 1970 film Husbands

 

Comedy Beast

Howlin' Wolf Den, 8:30PM

Free comedy show

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Intergalatic future funk at this high-energy show

 

Treme Brass Band

d.b.a., 10PM

Benny Jones and friends keep classic NOLA music thriving

 

Smoking Time Jazz Club

Spotted Cat, 10PM

Trad jazz masters play their weekly gig

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 11PM

2 sets by the Grammy-winning brass band

 

Crescent City Farmers Market

Broadway Street, 9AM-1PM

Uptown edition of the city's prime local market


Grand Curator

Review: UNO St. Claude Gallery's Alumni Exhibition



In a 2003 Chicago Tribune article, art critic Alan G. Artner characterized the 1990’s as a time during which “pseudo-intellectualism” began “replacing scholarship” in the area of curation.     

 

Further blurring the lines between curator in “position of service,” as elucidated by Artner, are sometimes artist-curators like Robert Gober, asked to curate in a guest capacity at Houston’s Menil Collection.  Gober’s work within “Meat Wagon” not only drew visitors to the Menil, it offered a glimpse into Gober’s own unique and intriguing way of seeing.  It is this particular viewpoint, this “way of seeing” that started taking second-stage to the selfless and academic approach to curation.

 

Because of this intensified relationship between art and curation, sometimes the distinction between curating a solid show and “celebrity curating” gets dicey.  Particularly within collectives like TEN Gallery, Good Children and The Front where artist members are presumably expected to share the duties of curating shows, keeping one’s academic ethics intact seems paramount. 

 

As an art critic working with local museums, this reviewer is frequently cautioned by the curatorial staff themselves against emphasizing their roles in the making and display of art.  The dedicated and educated of the New Orleans art world generally eschew garnering such acclaim in lieu of maintaining academic ethics and (presumably) mutual professional esteem.

 

As an exercise in learning about the curatorial process, NOLA Defender sought out two academics involved in curating on behalf of UNO St. Claude Gallery.  Instructor and Managing Director Kathy Rodriguez curates UNO St. Claude throughout the year, finding congruous pairings amongst the MFA candidates’ final theses as a mainstay and pulling in other faculty work and work by alumni as well.  When a candidate fell through, Natalie McLaurin’s “You are a weird bird” stood alone.  Enter Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Rebecca Reynolds who proposed offering MFA grads an opportunity to submit work which would eventually make up the gallery’s April-May show.

 

Rebecca Reynolds explains that when a letter was sent to MFA alum’, no subject matter was imagined.  However, as artists responded, Reynolds saw an overwhelming amount of work coming in that dealt with the process of identity formation.  This theme coincided well with McLaurin’s work in its own investigations.  Reynolds chose works by Alex Podesta, Nina Schwanse and Monica Zeringue on their works’ thematic and visual strengths.

 

Alumni Alex Podesta’s work can’t help but greet the viewer, its sculptural and tactile prowess measuring up at the most, around six feet tall.  His work “The Victors” consists of a quasi-pre-adolescent Podesta of adult height dressed in childlike clothing.  Podesta-the-sculpture pulls a legless yet confined unicorn in a red wagon, and leads a paraplegic bunny in a unicycle contraption of his own creation.  Scale is skewed, sort of.  None of the creatures “exist”, giant child Podesta and giant fluffy rabbit staking little more claim to reality than quadruple amputee plush unicorn.  In terms of identity, Podesta’s childlike sense of wonder seems to have been grimly transformed by the journey into adulthood.

 

Also of note is Podesta’s “I vs. I (Tanner Stage II),” a pair of toddler-sized tricycles covered in the same pristine white fur as the bunny and the unicorn of “Victors” and locked in combat at handlebars modified into antlers.  Tanner Stage 2 refers to the first step towards puberty, and quite possibly the onset of battle within to form the autonomous adult personality.

 

Monica Zeringue’s entire body of work within the show, five astoundingly intricate works in graphite pencil, four on primed linen and one on paper, boldly and successfully broaches the subject of female identity.  Zeringue’s approach is beautifully communicated and readily relatable from a female standpoint.  The artist takes on characters from Greek mythology like Rhea Silvia, Ophelia and Hercules as a means of transcending the gender constraints inherent in myth. 

 

Zeringue fearlessly depicts her own body distorted into the nursing canine in terms of nursing capability only.  “She Wolf” offers the sacrificial hare as she ambulates on all fours, possessing three extra sets of breasts swollen with milk.  Charged with the tasks of hunting, feeding her young, the work’s subject bears tender flesh instead of thick fur, short human forearms and oversized human breasts.  Regardless of her inadequacies, our heroine surmounts inconceivable challenges.  This is interesting in itself, until the viewer realizes further that Zeringue also presents her nakedness, her vulnerabilities in the appraising public eye.  The feminist commentary is somewhat absent.   Zeringue instead chooses to discreetly and artfully frame the challenges with an expert hand. 

 

Zeringue’s “Unbecoming ” discusses the tedious physical and emotional pain of conforming to current standards of beauty.  The fearful prospect of the haircut is depicted, performed by the artist’s mother with pruning shears.  The specter of a well-pruned and fecund rose bush looms in the background, the entire work floating on a blank backdrop.  Zeringue addresses themes throughout the show dealing with the beholden nature of femininity, especially in relation to hair, an important link to Podesta’s work in “Tanner II” which is distinctively masculine in nature.

 

Nina Schwanse, is an artist seemingly driven to deconstruct the sensational.  Her work often consists of getting inside of a controversial thing at its roots and experiencing the painful process of growing with it.  In her multi-faceted confrontation of feminist anti-hero Veronica Compton, Schwanse reportedly experienced a disjunction when she attempted to portray the woman in a video work.  Compton, a wanna-be screenwriter and attempted murderer who conspired with Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi through letter-writing on the outs’, is the subject of multiple works by Schwanse originally shown as her “Hold It Against Me: The Veronica Compton Archive” exhibition at Good Children Gallery in 2013.

 

A well-curated show then, conceivably takes into account a body of work evaluated on its rigorous approach to a topic.  It explores many aspects, from both a male and female perspective and generally insists on performing a ghostly task.  It culls as much talent from as far and wide as possible, in this case finding graduates from as far back as possible.

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Erin Rose
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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Listings Editor


Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock