Sunday, April 25, 2010


In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the levees, New Orleans artist Jana Napoli spent months wandering around her city and collecting hundreds of discarded household drawers, drawers that had come from bureaus or kitchen cabinets or desks or elsewhere, drawers that had once held meaningful or trivial objects for their owners, drawers that would later serve as a monument to all that had been lost and a symbol of the significance of everyday objects. Working with co-creator Rondell Crier, Napoli created "Floodwall," an installation of the drawers which has taken on various configurations -- as a wall and looking rather like an enormous dresser, or as a room that surrounds the spectator, or arrayed on the floor like gravestones.  All the drawers have been photographed, logged in a database available online, and the artists have started doing taped interviews with the owners about the story of their drawer, and what it contained. Short clips of some of those stories have been posted here, including one of a woman who says that her mother kept in this drawer the pink dress that she wanted to be buried in. "Floodwall" was most recently mounted in early 2009 in Germany, but is well documented on the project website. (The video above is a news segment about "Floodwall" from KLPB television in Lafayette, Louisiana.)

1 comment:

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