Catalogue for Constance
Texts— Patrick Strange, Kyle Bravo
10.5 x 9.5 inches
Edition of 1000
Printed in Canada by Prolific Group
Typefaces— Mrs. Eaves
A friend once described New Orleans as a broken city full of broken people. Although uncompromising, his description of my adopted hometown often comes to mind when I'm trying to express what it's like to live day to day in New Orleans. While there are certainly moments when I feel completely enchanted by the magic of this incredible place, it seems that lately I've been feeling just that—broken. The physical and emotional wreckage in this city is staggering. Sometimes it seems that the pain is everywhere and in everything, like some sort of illness that's festering and slowly spreading. Of course, Katrina only exacerbated the nagging aches and injustices that had plagued New Orleans for decades, and the excruciatingly slow recovery has only rubbed the salt so much deeper into our wounds. We're tired. We're sad. And deep in our bellies churns an inexhaustible anger about the situation in which we now find ourselves.
However, despite all that is ruinous around us, there are still moments of awe and inspiration. There are moments that are overwhelming because they are simultaneously heart-wrenching and glorious. And this is what it means to be a New Orleanian, because no matter how low we may get, this city will forever be one of the most amazing places on earth. And to me, that's what Constance is about. Born from the urgency to make something uplifting from the mess wrought by both Katrina and the sorely lacking governmental
response, this book is evidence of the fierce determination of the city's residents. Somehow, we still manage to find the courage to create and make ourselves known through the work of our hands.
In a town where contemporary art isn't exactly the first priority in most people's lives, Constance is one of those rare projects that makes me feel that something still remains, that as a visual artist I'm still part of a larger community. It reminds me that there is more to living in a destroyed city than gutted houses, piles of debris and darkened streetlights. In these pages, I see that there are so many talented artists who are still painting, photographing, drawing and writing in spite of—and perhaps as a direct result of—our place in the post-Katrina landscape.
And while I still believe that there is truth in what my friend said, I'm hoping that New Orleans is not yet broken beyond repair. Over two years after the storm, most residents of this city still cling to the belief that they can turn things around. Some might say it's an indomitable spirit. Some might say it's stubborn foolishness. Perhaps it's a little bit of both. But no matter why, despite natural disasters, despite incompetent leaders and despite ourselves, we remain.
— Kyle Bravo