Friday, October 21, 2016

A peek inside Beyond the Haunted Puddle, plus four more haunted houses

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 1:20 PM

One of Beyond the Haunted Puddle's uncanny occupants.
  • One of Beyond the Haunted Puddle's uncanny occupants.

Inside the entrance to Beyond the Haunted Puddle, the haunted house/immersive art installation now open at PORT, a glassy-eyed witch stirs a bubbling cauldron of human entrails  —  but that’s where the similarities to a classic haunted house end. Through a series of increasingly demented environments, including a truly nightmarish interlude at a purgatorial Department of Motor Vehicles counter, the installation knocks the viewer off balance in ways both visceral and cerebral. 

“[We wondered] what could be scary, what makes it fun, what makes it contemporary?” director Xavier Juarez says. “Making an immersive world is this great opportunity for an artist.”

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Art activists Liberate Tate present "Insides/Outsides" talk in New Orleans Oct. 18

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Liberate Tate's "Human Cost" installation. - AMY SCAIFE
  • Liberate Tate's "Human Cost" installation.

The activist art collective Liberate Tate, best known for its unsanctioned and guerrilla-ish installations and performances in London’s prestigious Tate Galleries, delivers a “lecture-performance” at Pelican Bomb Gallery X next week in an event presented by Bureau of Change.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Deviant," Southern Mississippi Juggalo rappers in love, bring killer clown music to New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Ratchet (standing) and Sukkew (crouched), the members of Deviant
  • Ratchet (standing) and Sukkew (crouched), the members of Deviant
Are you living your dreams? Ratchet and Sukkew are living theirs. Together they're Deviant, a married Juggalo rap duo from a small town in Southern Mississippi. On Wed., Oct. 12 at Southport Hall, they're opening for horrorcore rap legends Twiztid, a huge opportunity for a couple who only this year made the jump from fans to musicians.

After stumbling on Deviant's first music video, Lurkin', I tracked the power couple down for a conversation about their upcoming show, police harassment of Juggalos and how wedded bliss mixes creatively with their lyrical themes of dismemberment, maiming, and torture — the gruesome tropes comprising the rap subgenre known as horrorcore.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

You Go Girl's haunted house opens Oct. 20

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 11:00 AM

You Go Girl — whose fun neon nightmares and comic creatures offer windows into a bizarro Lisa Frank party — stages an "immersive haunted experience" this Halloween. You Go Girl and several New Orleans artists present Beyond the Haunted Puddle, running at PORT (2120 Port St.) this month (Oct. 20-23 and Oct. 28-31).

Beyond the Haunted Puddle "is based on the unsolved mystery of two children who disappeared into an unearthly puddle in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. The true tale of their journey remains a mystery, but this experience allows daring souls to fantasize about what happened that lurid October night. Horrible, beautiful, and alarming, The Haunted Puddle would ask for those faint of heart, squeamish or prudish to stay at home and keep your heads on your sweet soft pillows. Be scared or leave."

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

CAC to renovate, add The Domain Companies as tenant

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Screen grab from
  • Screen grab from

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) announced it will begin renovations and add as a tenant The Domain Companies, the New York and New Orleans-based developer behind South Market District, Ace Hotel and other local projects. The project will begin Oct. 1, according to a press release. 

The third and fourth floors of the CAC will become The Shop, an office hub for "technology, arts and cultural-based businesses." The Idea Village will be a tenant of The Shop, which is expected to open in early 2017. The Shop will include 40,000 square feet of space and accommodate 350-400 people, according to the press release. There will be common areas, meeting and office space and a rooftop deck.

"Over the years, the CAC has leased space to unique and complementary partner tenants — including the New Orleans Film Society, the National Performance Network, and Junebug Productions. The mission of The Shop is to bring members of the creative class in to our building as their tenants," said CAC Executive Director Neil Barclay in a released statement.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: No Dead Artists

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Chicago Loop Landmarks #43-46, 2010, Alex Braverman
  • Chicago Loop Landmarks #43-46, 2010, Alex Braverman

Where are we? Some people around the world feel increasingly disoriented as changing times and changing technologies make their once familiar surroundings seem ever more alien. New ripples in the art world often reflect issues that many people sense but cannot articulate, and this year’s No Dead Artists exhibition continues its uncanny history of such subcurrents resonating through the work of emerging artists. Beyond all the upheavals posed by global economics, politics and climate change, the widespread human tendency to grasp at simplistic solutions to complex situations fails to provide the answers needed to adapt to a time in which robotics and digital technology increasingly make the world around us seem more like virtual reality. The dizzying complexity of our increasingly technological urban environments is explored in Chicago artist Alex Braverman’s geometric photo collages of urban vistas like Chicago Loop Landmarks #43-46, 2010 (pictured), but the contrast provided by Nate Burbeck’s more pastoral oil paintings of everyday life in Minnesota should be reassuring. Look again and his surreal suburban scenes and green pastures sliced with graffiti-tagged interstate ramps can seem as disembodied as dreams where a sense of place is replaced by a GPS reading.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Culture Collision is Wednesday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Culture Collision is at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion
  • Culture Collision is at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion

Culture Collision, a happy hour hosted by local arts and cultural organizations to share info about their programs and upcoming seasons, is 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion. There are more than 50 arts organizations, short performances by some participating groups, a cash bar, raffles and more.

Participating groups range from museums and theater companies to film groups and festivals. They include Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Shotgun Cinema, The NOLA Project, New Orleans Ballet Association, Marigny Opera House, OperaCreole, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Film Society, French Quarter Festivals, WWNO 89.9 and others. There's an updated list here.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Dirty Linen Night is Saturday, Aug. 13

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Art fans and revelers can head to Royal Street for the 15th annual Dirty Linen Night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. The event features new shows at art galleries, special exhibitions, live music and food trucks in an effort to draw New Orleanians to the boutiques, galleries and antique shops in the heart of the French Quarter.

Dirty Linen Night is the French Quarter’s response to the Warehouse District’s White Linen Night, which marked its 40th year Aug. 6. During Dirty Linen, eight blocks of Royal Street, as well as some adjacent streets, are blocked off to the allow attendees to roam freely. 

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Androids and anime: a day at MechaCon (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Costumed con-goers strike a pose.
  • Costumed con-goers strike a pose.

The scene at MechaCon check-in is bedlam. A man in a glittery green bowler hat, possibly left over from St. Patrick’s Day, jostles a woman with blue and purple hair, who consoles her crying sister. A girl in a metallic red and blue jacket, matching bikini bottoms and black high-heeled boots shivers nearby. Other people in varying degrees of costume stand around the registration desk in vague gestures toward lines; the confusion seems to stem from the fact that there are multiple registration levels. Red-shirted volunteers keep trying to line people up based on the first letter of their last names (“N through Z!”) 

Behind me, a young man in an electric blue wig, a red fedora with playing cards tucked into the band and goggles seems indifferent to the chaos. He’s carrying two boxes at about chest-level. 

“What’s in the box?” I ask. 

The first box has a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards, he says. 

“And the other one?”

“It’s a box of string.”

"And what is the string for?

“No one is supposed to know what the string does.”

Shyly, he opens the box’s lid to reveal a tangled nest of extension and power cords.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

"Museum Month" has free(ish) museum admission in August

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 5:01 PM

The New Orleans Museum of Art will participate in New Orleans Museum Month.
  • The New Orleans Museum of Art will participate in New Orleans Museum Month.

After a summer of high-hedonist activities (tubing, daiquiris, kiddie pools filled with Jell-O), return to civilized culture in August with the city's annual "Museum Month."

During the event, major local museums offer free admission with an active membership at one of the participating institutions. For example, buying a membership to the Contemporary Arts Center gets you in to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the National World War II Museum, Le Musee de Free People of Color and several other properties. 
The program is a great way to check out museums during a traditionally quiet month for tourism, when galleries and exhibits are less crowded. Budget-friendly memberships include Ashe Cultural Arts Center (from $25), the Historic New Orleans Collection (from $35), and Longue Vue House & Gardens (from $35). 

A complete list of museums is available online.

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