William Butler Yeats' poem "Sailing to Byzantium" is a whimsical rumination on old age infused with many mythic references. This Good Children expo extrapolates those themes into a meditation on human frailty, tackiness, weird aquariums, beginnings, ends and erratic interludes. Multiple Lines of Idylle Colors by Bryan Guidry and Philippe Landry is a leaning tower of kitsch, a totem of bric-a-brac shelves bristling with plaster saints, elves, busts of Elvis, Jesus, you name it, accompanied by an endless sound loop distilled from a minimal snippet of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. The result is a kind of aesthetic mulch, a thrift-store Götterdämmerung. Show curator Adrian Price's mixed-media mural extends the "love in the ruins" theme with passionate scenes on the floor of a domestic interior devolving into a mass-media afterimage of pop-cultural memory. Minka Stoyanova's Flee depicts a unicorn-headed majorette bursting through concrete walls, a gesture of mythic renewal in the form of an equine Wonder Woman. Jeremy Pelt's Cool Water is a cologne-scented aquarium radiating a deadly golden glow inspired by Yeats' desire to be reincarnated as a hammered gold bauble. Colorfully related works by Jessica Bizer, Rachel Jones and Sophie Lvoff round out this eloquently improbable expo.
The adjacent New Orleans Mountain Project explores what mountains might mean to New Orleans. Curated by Serbo-Croatian New Orleans resident Srdjan Loncar, it features works like Icelandic artist Bjarki Bragason's anti-mountain manifesto, a flat horizontal line bounded by two poems — a notion echoed by local artist Robert Tannen's assertion that mountains ascend horizontally in the linear form of levees, or the inverted form of lakes and swamps. Baltimore artist Alyssa Dennis proposes a mountain of organic gardens for those who lack access to vegetables, and Chilean artist Sebastian Preece espouses a "geography of books" to elevate the imagination and penetrate the limits of knowledge. Now all we have to do is get the Corps of Engineers to pay for it. — D. Eric Bookhardt
Thru Oct. 3
Sailing To Byzantium: Group Show Inspired by William Butler Yeats
New Orleans Mountain Project: Group Show Inspired by Mountains
Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Ave., 616-7427; www.goodchildrengallery.com