Maybe it was the July supermoon, but this month’s St. Claude arts district gallery openings were very dreamlike. Those who braved the pervasive somnambulism of the night encountered low-budget vision quests like Susan Gisleson’s Jung Hotel
installation at Antenna Gallery. Less about New Orleans’ long gone Jung Hotel than Carl Jung’s “collective unconscious,” the show explores how the percolations of the dreaming mind conflate personal quirks with cultural memory. Here, the walls are lined with books with peep-show portals revealing lurid dream scenes, while on the floor a 1960s jukebox features freakishly unfamiliar song titles such as “I Found a Glass Eye in the Dirt” attributed to familiar names like Del Reeves. An array of hanging medallions that look like souvenir drink coasters encased in clear plastic reprises iconic Americana in the form of vintage fashions and Indian chiefs, antique road maps and anatomy class skeletons, 1920s weight lifters and soft-porn starlets, all slowly swaying in the gentle breezes of the HVAC vent. It’s just another night at the Jung Hotel where an antique suitcase filled with realistically slimy plastic frogs at the entrance prepares visitors for what lies in store.
Within the Santa Fe, New Mexico, art collective Meow Wolf’s Moving Still
installation at The Front, we are greeted by an Iron Claw machine filled with plastic dinosaurs. The first two galleries are dedicated to a history of the collective, and two rear galleries feature a splendidly encompassing environment like a sculptural recreation of a peyote vision formulated by Werner Herzog and Alejandro Jodorowsky. But a reflexive search for Klaus Kinski mainly yields dry ice fog rising from a display case memorial to a deceased crossdresser, and an intricate, cavernous maze of psychedelically hued lattice constructions (pictured) studded with visionary beasts from the otherworldly labyrinths that appear only to those who journey by the light of the supermoon.
Through Aug. 3
The Jung Hotel
: Installation by Susan Gisleson
, 3718 Saint Claude Ave., (504) 298-3161
: Mixed-media Installation by the Meow Wolf artists collective
, 4100 St. Claude Ave., (504) 301-8654