A fish never thinks about water until he is out of it.
Robert Penn Warren
Heading to the store to pick up something that was needed for dinner, I gave my grandmother a quick unaffectionate hug. “What you call that, an ‘en tout cas’?” she asked. I inquired “what is an ‘en tout cas’?” A just in case.
En Tout Cas explores the notion that we can subconsciously alter our past through malleable memories. In this body of work I’ve mined my memories to recreate representative imagery of select scenes from my upbringing in the Cajun culture. These images do not try to render an accurate account of the subject or scenes but have emerged from distorted autobiographical memories. The images are titled using common phrases that are unique to the local language.
Gulf coast native David Armentor is an emerging artist who has been working in the photographic medium for the past 12 years. He received a BA from Louisiana State University in 2004 where he learned the craft of photographic print making. After graduation he taught photography classes for the Baton Rouge Arts Council and worked as a freelance photographer until moving to Seattle, WA, where he continued his photographic endeavors with the Benham Gallery as an Assistant curator and artist. He now resides in New Orleans, LA, working as the Digital Imaging Specialist for Tulane's School of Architecture and as the Librarian for the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Armentor also co-owns St. Veronica’s Photography, an art consulting company which specializes in alternative photographic processes.
“Signposts in a Strange Land" is a photographic exploration of empty vernacular signage along the backroads of the South. The writer Walker Percy recognized the South as a strange, exotic place, unlike anywhere else in America; a place that clings to the past and stubbornly refuses to accept the present. His book of essays, published posthumously, entitled Signposts in a Strange Land, is a jumping off point for this series, which explores the themes of the past, alienation, language (or, rather, the lack thereof), and loss. In photographing these signs I seek the public expressions of thoughts and ideas, now empty, that were once pointers to some immediate necessity. In isolating them in their current state of disrepair, they become signifiers of that uniquely Southern sense of loss and alienation. Using a vintage SX-70 camera and Impossible Project black & white film lends the project a sense of nostalgia and loss and isolates the graphic nature of these empty signs.
Thom Bennett is a New Orleans-based commercial, editorial, and art photographer whose photographs are rooted in the classical tradition of composition, lighting, expression and design. In each photograph he strives to tell a compelling story within the context of two dimensional space. His work has appeared in New Orleans Magazine, BIZ Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, Restaurateur, ByFaith, Homes & Land, Kingfish, City Business, and Oliver Stone’s “JFK”. Thom’s art photographs have been exhibited throughout the Southeast, including the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, WORKPLAY, Birmingham, AL; The University of Arkansas, Conway, AR; Delta State University, Cleveland, MS; The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA., The Darkroom, New Orleans, LA.; The New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery. Most recently, a couple of his Polaroids were in the Medium Festival of Photography’s “Size Matters” exhibition, San Diego, CA. He is a staff photographer at M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans.
Sesthasak Boonchai describes himself as a “creative nomad.” Dabbling equally in drawing, lens-based media and performance, he explores the effects of time and distance on how we construct memories. The habitual way people, places and things tend to linger just a bit too long here in New Orleans serves as tremendous inspiration to his work and approach.
Sesthasak Boonchai was born in Bangkok, Thailand and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He lives and works in New Orleans with his wife and three children.
Kyle is a native of New Orleans. She attended college in Washington, DC, where she was an assistant to the photography curator at the Corcoran Museum of Art. She continued her career in San Francisco, opening the Kyle Roberts Gallery. In 1994, Kyle returned to New Orleans to resume her own practice of photography.
Kyle’s art stems from her extensive travels, taking new concepts back to her native city. Her travels in Europe inspired her to photograph the layers of history found in built environments. “I have always had a fascination with layers of life in objects. I collect antique mirrors and wonder what they saw, who has seen their reflection. I have always felt there was much more than the surface.” In a city with so much history, Kyle wants to capture some of the past that surrounds us.
However, after Katrina’s destruction, this past was damaged and scattered. Kyle responded with a need to view the city, and its material culture, in different formats. She switched to using large format cameras, so “I could see both upside down and reversed.” Kyle started making platinum/palladium prints and was later introduced to wet plate collodion at a class with John Dugdale. She writes that “somehow this helped me see the layers of patina again; it brought what was our home back to life for me.”
Kyle currently lives and works in the Marigny, sharing her home with two dogs and three cats.
Dave Rodrigue considers his work to be a reflection of his varied interests. Primarily Dave works in series, making multiple images of subjects or photographing the same subject from multiple perspectives. Although Dave considers himself a traditional photographer, he also works in digital media.
Dave Rodrigue was born and raised in New Orleans. He graduated from the University of New Orleans with a BA in Fine Art Photography and an MA in History. He has taught photography at Delgado Community College and works as a Fine Art and Commercial photographer. His studio is located in the Bywater area of New Orleans.