Artist Swoon's latest and coolest art exhibit packs high emotional impact into an environmentally-friendly phantasma. Already known for showing up at the Venice Biennale in a barge made of junk, her site-specific installation at the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art is comprised of a twenty foot mythical deity with long, flowing tentacles. Called Thalassa, which is the name of an important Greek goddess who is the mother of all sea creatures, this incredible two-storey piece is designed to drive home the inextricable link between New Orleans and the sea. And it is made in large measure of recycled materials.
Hurricane Katrina and last year’s oil spill in the Gulf underscored just how much New Orleans relies on the sea for its commerce, food, energy, and transport. Thalassa was born after Swoon began to spend time in the city, and was inspired by what she saw.
Although much of the “goddess” was made of new prints mounted on a thin wood backing and a lightweight metal armature, Swoon reused all kinds of scrap materials including rumpled newspaper, tissues, stenciled cut outs from previous pieces and a little bubble-wrap, according to the museum’s communications representative. The 34 year old artist managed to turn all these seemingly mundane objects into a powerful piece that is certain to wow everyone who is lucky enough to see it.
Thalassa is on show until September 25, 2011.