“there was something about that city, though it didn't let me feel guilty that I had no feeling for the things so many others needed. it let me alone.” ― Charles Bukowski on New Orleans
I've often felt that New Orleans is a place that people go to hide in plain view.
It's like disappearing to a European city on a forever vacation, with your forever people, and if you didn't know them before
- they. will. find. you. -
This Sunday after a boozy brunch with friends we all caravanned to the West Bank to spend the afternoon out at ExhibitBE.
It was one of those overwhelming moments of art and music set in one of the most tragically blighted areas on a dilapidated section of the river. The structures surrounding and stretching beyond the exhibit looked as if a bomb had blown them apart.
But the art. was. everywhere.
A strange, sad beauty with a punctuation mark of hope, perhaps.
From the ExhibitBE website:
Powered by a brilliant group of volunteer artists and organizers, ExhibitBE is the largest single-site street art exhibit in the American South. Witness what happens when community + space + art unite to redefine blight and to create alchemy.
My new friend Augusta (one of those that found me when she arrived from New York 4 weeks ago) and I had a quick exchange when we walked onto the site that the photos we'd seen via insta absolutely couldn't do the vastness of it all justice.
So with that group of 12 or so friends we began to take it all in.
(And she and I secretly agreed to do what we could through our iPhones to capture our experience.)
Full disclosure: Augusta is a photographer IRL and probably has some amazing shots on her camera. I can't wait to see those.
This is all I have to share. I hope it translates even a little bit.