REMEMBER US - a special performance for Prospect 4 at the Music Box Village...

Published on 2017-11-22

Stay tuned for the exclusive release of video from this once-in-a-lifetime event, created by Lindsey Phillips, coming in the next few days for Drip supporters only!!

A little more about the installation behind the show and its meaning...

The Prospect 4 Triennial team asked Airlift to create a special performance for their artists and guests. Airlift's Artistic Director Delaney Martin returned to her earliest memories of moving to New Orleans, waking up and falling asleep to the singsong greetings and exchanges of women along her street and many of the streets of the city. In our musical village, Delaney reimagined these calls and responses from the balconies and stoops of our sonic town, populating our structures with the voices of some of New Orleans' most exciting female musicians from a range of genres, generations and career levels.

Working closely with the incredible Tif "Teddy" Lamson (Givers) as musical director, they created a soundtrack of conversation and the sharing of songs that featured the accomplished and experimental Helen Gillet's French chanson, up and comer Sabine McCalla's Gospel-inspired takedown of men who don't treat a woman right, Meschiya Lake's haunting song about being hurt, Delish Da Goddess's self-owning rap Southern Belle, Sissy Bounce pioneer and first transexual rapper Katey Red's anthem Melpomene Block Party, and culminating with 1960's pop legends The Dixie Cups' Iko Iko.

While the Music Box Village already provided a perfect backdrop for the performance, our vision also included a special installation of laundry lines and an almost threatening amount of lush plant-life, overabundant with desire, power, and depth. The installation was created with Alita Edgar, assisted by Kate McCurdy, who focused on giving the laundry lines narrative and texture. Delaney, assisted by Caitlin Cowlen in creating vortex-like plant sculptures, and Elizabeth Shannon who created a haunting portal into the space using ancestral reclaimed wooden doors, peering taxidermied animals and more.

Parsing the meaning of the Lotus Despite the Swamp - the theme of P.4 - the voices and names of women have been uncredited and lost to time, though we find the remnants of their presence in black-and-white photos and wax cylinder recordings.

The lines of garments represent not only the interlinked domiciles and women’s words sent across the courtyards and alleys, but also the occasions and changes a woman dresses for in her life from birth, christening, girlhood, education, family, work, leisure, celebration, to grave. They also represent the multiple layers presented as a women dresses for the day, from support garments to protective outerwear.

We must dress for sleep, work from scrubs to 2-piece suits, the ultrafeminine, the expression of purity, the practical. Specific garments exist - the “right thing” - for playing tennis, jogging, keeping warm, getting married. We dress a child, dress a table, dress the windows, iron a partner’s shirt. Bleach and mend. Save heirloom linens from grandmother to daughter.

All the garments a woman will wear, gain and pass on along a life, many of which stay with us long past the woman who once inhabited them. The laundry lines - representing the tangible historical notion of woman's work - were a foil to the plant life that would not be contained, fertile, overabundant, lush, bursting forth, inviting in, reaching out and most definitely beyond control or restraint.

Photo Credit: Rush Jagoe
Portrait of Delish Da Goddess