A Visionary, Reinventing New Orleans

Kirsha Kaechele’s mother was a wild-child painter; her father was an astrophysicist at a miltary think tank, at the dawn of the Cold War—until he took acid, and gave it up. So it’s safe to say that Kaechele’s work does her parents proud: Since 2001, she’s been buying up houses in one of New Orlean’s most frightening, blighted neighborhoods, and inviting artists to turn it into one giant installation. Coolhunting just posted a terrific video of what’s she’s been up to:

You wonder if this sort of project could fashion a kind of revival for New Orleans, at least in certain quarters. While it may seem ridiculous, it’s worth noting that artists have almost always been behind the rejuvenation of neglected urban neighborhoods—whether it’s New York’s SoHo in the 1980s, San Francisco’s Mission District in the 1990s, or Los Angeles’s Silverlake District a decade ago. What’s happening in New Orleans obviously doesn’t have the benefit of a big, cosmopolitan population—not to mention that the neighborhood is extraordinarily rough—so it’s hard to imagine things reaching a critical mass. But it’s fun to imagine this living on, at least as a high-minded dream of how things could be.

Kaechele’s foundation KKProjects | Life is Art. You can read a great interview with Kaechele here; The New York Times style magazine did an interesting profile here; and you can see photos of the scene at her parties here.

[Thumbnail image via Tate Tuller]

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