New Orleans Museum of Art Presents Deja Vu All Over Again with Generic Art Solutions

What is history but a string of moments in time, a repetition of the “now” destined to become events recorded as the “past”? And what then of the future? -Generic Art Solutions

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents the first solo exhibition of Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S.) entitled Déjà Vu All Over Again: Generic Art Solutions, on view through February 13, 2011.

G.A.S. is a New Orleans-based collaboration of Tony Campbell and Matt Vis. The duo have been blending history and humor with critique for the past 10 years. London-born Campbell and Virginia-born Vis have exhibited in New York, London and New Orleans. They have toured nationally and internationally as the “Art Cops” or “International Art Police,” distributing citations as a form of artistic critique. There will be an inspection of NOMA by the International Art Police on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 6 p.m.

Déjà vu All Over Again: Generic Art Solutions refers to the frustration in Louisiana that disasters seem to repeat themselves. The exhibition features many mediums including photography, video, sculpture and silkscreen painting.

“Generic Art Solutions thoughtfully uses the language of art history to comment on present day concerns,” said Miranda Lash, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “They update the formal strategies of Western masters such as Manet, Rubens and Caravaggio into themes as diverse as illegal immigration, capital punishment and man-made disasters. Their goal is not to precisely replicate historical paintings. Rather they employ déjà vu as a critical tool, stimulating a dialogue between past and present.”

Example: The G.A.S. adaptation of Theodore Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa (originally painted 1818-19), which depicts lives needlessly lost at sea under the restored French monarchy, is fused with the tragedy of the 11 men who died during the Gulf oilrig explosion of April 2010. Parallel stories of anguish, waste and mismanagement are blended into a timeless panorama on human fallibility.

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