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Review: Y’all Dont Wanna Hear Us, You Just Wanna Dance!! and Of Myth, Fun & Folly

Dreamy dimensions and reflections on the deaths of black men on St. Claude Avenue



This month's Second Saturday gallery scene on St. Claude Avenue had everything from frivolity to gravitas, and on that deliriously hot and steamy evening, the sight of a nude woman mingling nonchalantly with the crowd at the New Orleans Art Center initially seemed more pragmatic than provocative. She was a burlesque dancer from a just-concluded performance, an event topped off with an impromptu German opera aria sung by tenor Joseph Fedor, which complemented the diverse, yet cohesively buoyant and mostly affordable work on the walls. Bob Dylan once said that in New Orleans you could "almost see other dimensions," and Ann Hornback's dreamy paintings of women interacting with — or morphing into — oddly undulating beasts seemed to bear that out, as did Brad Dupuy's interwoven baroque nudes, Britney Penouilh's deft juxtapositions of human female and crystalline mineral forms and Sergio Alvarez's painterly explorations of fantastical visionary ecosystems. Meanwhile at Good Children Gallery, the Y'all Don't Wanna Hear Us, You Just Wanna Dance!! performance easily might have been mistaken for the hopping scene that it mostly was, as DJ Sissy Elliot's steady stream of pulsating beats inspired slinky dance moves. At 10 p.m. sharp, the music went dead, replaced by flashing blue police lights and a deafening silence as a procession of 27 ghostly, umbrella-wielding figures filed solemnly through and out of the gallery in memory of the 27 unarmed black men killed by police so far this year. Currently 79 umbrellas occupy the gallery floor and ceiling (pictured) in memory of the 79 unarmed black men killed by police in 2015. Produced by Kevin Brisco, Marta Anna Rodriguez Maleck and Ashley Teamer, the performance and installation poetically underscored that week's deadly events, leaving the question of how we came to this point hanging wordlessly in the air.

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