Pin It

Review: Daguerreotypes to Digital and Apophenia 

D. Eric Bookhardt on works at the Historic New Orleans Collection and Loyola

click to enlarge art_rec-1.jpg

We are now in the depths of Lent. Mardi Gras is but a memory, so smaller and quieter is better, right? In this contemplative mode, a quietly compact photo show easily overlooked amid the recent hoopla stands out. The Historic New Orleans Collection's Daguerreotypes to Digital expo at its Williams Research Center is way more than its Photographic Processes subtitle suggests, mainly because of its often tiny yet sometimes stunning examples culled from its vast inventory of more than 100,000 photographs. For instance, a truly Shakespearean-looking 1874 King of Carnival sits in slumped repose, like a medieval warrior-monarch just back from battle, in a small albumen print by Pierre Petit. Similarly, a larger if no less striking 1875 salted paper print of a dapper Creole named St. Andre Matt, resplendent in his formal attire and stovepipe hat, conveys a quietly dramatic charisma. Even an understated, anonymous 1910 cyanotype of two Decatur Street stores, Bartel's Pet Shop and Weingart's Fireworks, is like a tiny magic window into the past replete with nonchalant shopkeepers and children in the doorways. But surely the most mysterious of all is I Am Longing for Tomorrow When I Think of Yesterday (pictured), a small, circa 1911 tinted glass lantern slide of a fancy dressed gent on a beach. Attributed to the Crescent City Film Exchange and titled after a pop song, this surreal reprise of the popular imagination of the period is just one of the obscure gems featured here.

Matt Shlian's large Apophenia exhibit at Loyola University's Diboll Gallery also provides a quiet — if quite contemporary — mix of science and visual poetry. Seemingly melding architecture, modern art and pure geometry, Shlian's cut paper sculptures illustrate how pattern recognition techniques link contemporary technology with the idealized pure forms envisioned by Plato in classical times, when art and science were all part of the same cosmic worldview.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in Art Review

More by D. Eric Bookhardt

Spotlight Events

  • Chris Rock @ Saenger Theatre
    1111 Canal St.

    • Mon., March 27, 8 p.m.
    • 1 going/interested
  • Hogs for the Cause @ UNO Lakefront Arena
    6801 Franklin Ave.

    • Thu., March 30, 6:30 p.m., Fri., March 31, 4-9:30 p.m. and Sat., April 1, 12-6 p.m.
    • Buy Tickets
  • Sweet Bird of Youth @ Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette Theatre, Marquette Hall
    6363 St. Charles Ave.

    • Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through April 16
    • 1 going/interested
  • Audra McDonald @ NOCCA Riverfront
    2800 Chartres St.

    • Fri., March 31
  • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge
    2239 St. Claude Ave.

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2017 Gambit
Powered by Foundation