Client: Des Cours
Size: 300 sf
Location: 212 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA
Status: Temporary Installation
Design Team: Jonathan Marcantel, Drew Shawver, Allison Bohl (Photography)
There is no element more fundamental to the unique landscape condition of Southern Louisiana than water. Its pervasiveness in shaping the topography, climate, culture, technology, agriculture, and landscape as a whole is undeniable, yet its ubiquity often remains largely unseen. Its presence in the land has dictated historically unprecedented infrastructural control and transportation systems, designed to maintain this pervasive level of physical and psychological separation from an otherwise inhospitable environment.
The installation for the 2011 New Orleans Des Cours event was designed to bring occupants into direct contact with properties and processes of the Louisiana wetlands, both familiar and un- seen. It is a spatial and multi-sensory manifestation of this viscous environment, heightening occupant awareness of the hydrological landscape we inhabit at drastically varying scales. It simultaneously accommodates an active sedimentation filtration system, vivifying the underlying process responsible for the formation of Louisiana’s topography by the Mississippi River; an iridescent wall of swamp water and floating aquatic plants, exposing a glowing cross- section of the wetlands’ underbelly; and a translucent double-skinned humidity wall, making visually apparent the presence of water in the air, imprinted with large scale multiple exposure photographs of the wetlands by Louisiana artist and film maker Allison Bohl. The overall experience is one of overlapping and contrasting vantages. It is simultaneously up-close and distant, physically engaging and visually compelling, a visceral exposition of perceived landscape phenomenon and a diagrammatic representation of the complex processes that shape it.