Dawn DeDeaux confronts Anthropocene at New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents “Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds” on view through January 23, 2022. This marks the first comprehensive museum exhibition for the pioneering multimedia artist Dawn DeDeaux. One of the first American artists to connect questions about social justice to emerging environmental concerns, DeDeaux’s art responds to an uncertain future imperiled by runaway population growth, breakneck industrial development, and the imminent threat of climate change.

Dawn DeDeaux has long grappled with existential questions surrounding earth and humanity’s survival,” Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA, said. “Originally scheduled for Fall 2020 but twice postponed—once due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and again because of the recent climate change-induced catastrophe of Hurricane Ida—the works and messages presented in the exhibition are more relevant than ever as we navigate this challenging time.”

Since the 1970s, DeDeaux’s practice has included video, performance, photography, sculpture, and installation to create art that grapples with the social, political, and environmental impacts of the Anthropocene, and responds to the unique threats facing her home state of Louisiana, one of the fastest disappearing landmasses in the world. “The Space Between Worlds” is organized around a series of immersive installations that span DeDeaux’s entire fifty-year career.

Featured are early projects like CB Radio Booths, which linked communities across New Orleans via radio and satellite, to more recent works from her MotherShip series, which plots our escape from a ruined earth, and a brand new immersive 70-foot video installation entitled Where’s Mary.

“A ‘retrospective’ is by definition a look backward, but in the case of Dawn DeDeaux’s work, that definition doesn’t seem to fit,” author, scholar, and catalogue contributor John M. Barry said. “So much of what she’s done seems of the now. It’s beyond prescient.”

DeDeaux has long worked between the worlds of the past, present, and future. Her exhibition highlights that we all have a limited-time-only opportunity to come together, coexist, and effect change.

“Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds" installation view at New Orleans Museum of Art. Courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art.
“Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds” installation view at New Orleans Museum of Art. Courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 works of art encompassing 5,000 years of history. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.

The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by more than 90 sculptures, including works from several 20thand 21st-century master sculptors. NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public seven days a week, 10 am to 6 pm.

The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. Wheelchairs are available from the front desk. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission courtesy of The Helis Foundation.

For more information about NOMA, visit www.noma.org. To subscribe to NOMA’s weekly newsletter, visit www.noma.org/signup.

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