“Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds” Opens at NOMA
NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds, the first comprehensive museum exhibition for the pioneering multimedia artist Dawn DeDeaux, on view Oct. 22 through Jan.23, 2022. 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,” said Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA. “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 50-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,” said author, scholar, and catalogue contributor John M. Barry. “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.
The catalogue for Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds features essays by exhibition curator Katie A. Pfohl, Eva Diaz, Associate Professor of the History of Art and Design at Pratt; Debbora Battaglia, Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College; John M. Barry, Distinguished Scholar at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and Walter Isaacson, Leonard Lauder Professor of American History and Values, Tulane University; alongside a foreword by museum director Susan Taylor and an interview between Pfohl and the artist, conducted at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.