The Aesthetics of Garbage: Known Mass: St. Maurice
ARTIST: Ann Glaviano (Dance, Writing)
In her book Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America, Dana Luciano notes that monumentalism “supports the work of nationbuilding by creating, through the manipulation of a mythic past, a feeling of national belonging.” My research, on the abandoned community of St. Maurice Church under the direction of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, begins with this question: What happens to a community when the buildings and objects that undergird its mythic past—that contribute to its feeling of belonging—are, against the will of its people, erased by the very institution that created them?
My research pertains to an interdisciplinary project, ultimately set in deconsecrated St. Maurice Church, in which key sites within the property—those that had contained objects imbued with special meaning—would be demarcated by dance. But dance is an ephemeral form. The sites of these now-invisible objects would be marked, reoccupied, and re-energized by a form that, upon its completion, disappears. I’m interested in potential resolutions for (or, more likely, opportunities to augment) the tension of the iconoclastic impulses present in this project alongside its own desire for monument-building in response to the destruction of a sacred site.
“Of all the garbage that threatens us, the most dangerous are the masses of discarded ideas.”
Artifact: something characteristic of or resulting from a particular human institution, period, trend or individual.
The Aesthetics of Garbage is an ongoing research laboratory for projects that scavenge, explore and reflect on discarded ideas. Curated by FLOCK and lasting the duration of Prospect 4, artists Ann Glaviano, Nick Shamblott, Caitlin Adams, Milo Daemgen and Meryl Murman will engage with each other, collaborating artists and the public in critical conversations and experiments that respond to cultural artifacts, lost causes, abandoned plans, and forgotten ideas through various media.
*NOTE: All Labs are open to public viewing. In the Labs, the artists will share how you may interact and engage with them and the work.