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Spatial Relations 

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You never know what you're going to see on St. Claude Avenue. That was always true — it's always been a little strange — but it's doubly true now that it is an arts district. Lala Rascic's black-light installation at Good Children Gallery looks cryptic but proves a fertile setting for her recent, and startlingly effective, "lecture performance" on Bosnia as the last refuge of the Homeric epic tradition. Across the street at The Front, there are some animal family album photographs, extraterrestrial fashions and photographs of "random moments within the built environment." Andrea Ferguson's Family of Manimals are cute surreal images of animal-headed critters in human garb posed as figures in old family albums and printed on cross-sections of tree trunks. Rendered in sepia, they are oddly engaging. Nearby, Brooklyn-based Vashti Windish and Cameron Michel's collages evoke old-time psychedelic Tantric-baroque space odysseys with matching fashions from the Lysithean Order, a tribe they say lives on one of Jupiter's moons — where these tunics and accessories are worn by young Lysitheans during rites of passage as they mutate into orbs of light, which must really be something to see. That may help atone, if only briefly, for the loss of some cosmic murals at the Saturn Bar that were destroyed by fire a few years back. Always a melting pot, St. Claude has struggled since Katrina to maintain its extraterrestrial heritage and shows like this can only help. Back on earth, Jonathan Traviesa takes us on a photographic meander through natural and unnatural marvels, including some industrial tepees erected on mysterious mountains and a facsimile of Mt. Rushmore in suburbia. More natural are some massive exposed tree roots (pictured), labyrinthine botanical structures that look almost extraterrestrial and suggest that Earth may be home to the strangest life forms of all. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Through May 8

Family of Manimals: Mixed-media constructions by Andrea Ferguson

Articles of the Lysithean Order: New work by Cameron Michel and Vashti Windish

Beacons Abound: New Photographs by Jonathan Traviesa

The Front, 4100 St. Claude Ave., 920-3980; www.nolafront.org

Through May 8

Brighter than a Thousand Suns ...: Installation by Lila Rascic

Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Ave.; www.goodchildrengallery.com

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