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Voodoo Art Experience

Along with Music, Large-Scale Interactive Art Exhibit Will Be On Display at This Weekend's Festival

This weekend at City Park, Fest-goers find interactive steel sculptures complete with fiery antennas and multi-sensory fusion under the oaks. And the eyes will be watching. It’s not unusual for music festivals to incorporate visual art into their lineup, but New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience boasts a veritable bounty of large-scale installations from both local and international artists.


For the second year in a row, Tulane partnered with Voodoo in the Entrance Design Competition, a contest with specific parameters for Architecture students to enter for a chance to see their own large-scale, practical installation at the Voodoo gates.


Festival Producer Stephen Rehage and Stefan Beese are co-curators of the Fest's art, and they also chose the winner of this year’s contest along with Tulane School of Architecture Correspondent Chris Berends.



“This is our second competition with Tulane,” explained Beese. “We always try to create partnerships with local entities.”  


The winner of Tulane Entrance Design Competition is “MOVEMENT”by Andrew Graham along with his team of students. “It’s a very complex and interesting piece because it has different appearances from different viewpoints,” said Beese. The installation will be hung from a 12ft. tall, 30 ft. wide, and 6ft. deep structure.



Last year’s festival was all about sustainability, and Beese said the people at Voodoo haven’t abandoned environmentally friendly ideals. “Movement,” consists of reusable plywood panels that Beese said would absolutely be repurposed countless times in the future.


“We created an entrance that is about 500 feet long, it prepares you for what’s to come,” said Beese.


Beese is thrilled about the entrance to this year’s festival.



“One thing about it is it looks very distorted and kind of abstract,” said the curator. “It spells Voodoo from different viewpoints, and it actually spells ‘exit,’ near the exit of the venue. It’s multipurpose signage.”


Once fest goers experience “Movement,” they’ll be able to create their own music with “Way,” a sound bridge. Individual tiles each emit a distinct sound, which are activated by footsteps. Marcus Brown and Nathan Weidenhaft collaborated on the installation, which Beese promises will be a perfect way to sound off the celebration.


“I don’t want to give away what it says, but it prepares you definitely for the experience of Voodoo,” said Beese. “


Beese also felt the exhibition “Face Forward,” by Christian Ristow, was worth highlighting. The steel model acts as an interactive androgynous human face, offering festival visitors the opportunity to control the “12 fascia muscles,” controlled by different levers that will sit 30 ft. away from the structure itself. 


“I’m anticipating a lot of ‘wow,’ factor coming from this piece,” explained Beese. Not only is Ristow’s installation a fun, group-oriented activity, it offers revelers an emotive experience in which they can collaborate to produce true, human expressions on a grand scale. 


Dave Rhodes and Stefan Beese came together to design “Doors of Voodoo” an Isaac-inspired installation in keeping with the theme of recycling and rebirth.  


“There were so many doors and shutters around,” explains Beese. “All of these doors and shutters are kind of a tribute to New Orleans but also emphasize the reuse and make new after a storm,” said Beese.


The installation consists of upright, recycled doors and shutters scattered about a space, inviting visitors to interact with the exhibition by walking through different entrances.


“Silver Claw”by Christina Sporrong is back this year, a large-scale steel lobster with fire-spitting antennas that appears as if it is climbing out of the water.


Interested in learning more about this year's art offerings? Click here for a full list with descriptions.

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