In honor of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina ─ among the worst natural disasters in the United States ─ here are stills from New Orleans artist Michel Varisco’s film, Shifting, now traveling with Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource, a new-media exhibition. It focusses primarily on an unnatural disaster: the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began just five years after the hurricane. Both devastations have taken their toll on a complex and delicate environment.
The video, which tours with Water, Water, and Varisco’s installation at New Orleans’ Ogden Museum, address the fragile and rapidly changing landscape of the Louisana wetlands, before, during, and after the oil spill. Through a synthesis of science and art, Shifting aims to describe the beauty and destruction of a unique landscape with the intention to create discussion and promote action around conservation, land use and energy issues.
The following short video is a talk Varisco gave at the Ogden in 2012 about her exhibition.
Michel Varisco is a native New Orleans artist and an artist-mentor at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. She works in photography, assemblage and site-specific installations exploring change, loss and regeneration. Recent work focuses around the Louisiana Wetlands in a series called “Shifting” and explores the dynamic changes and cycles of loss on the coast of Louisiana from both natural and man-made causes. Varisco’s work has been published and shown internationally, and is included in corporate, private and public collections in the United States and abroad.