Robert Ladislas Derr
This Union Must and Shall be Preserved, 2005
This Union Must and Shall be Preserved is a tracing of Jackson Square in New Orleans French Quarter. Walking through the frenzy of tourism as I keep the statue of Andrew Jackson within sight, I think about his poignant statement carved on the base of his statue, "this union must and shall be preserved" and wonder: Are Americans preserving or consuming the union? The physical structure of the square combined with the pedestrians and tourists, who are my observers and alternatively being observed make for an interesting document. With the video cameras attached to my person, the arrhythmia created by my footsteps animates the lifeless statue as it dances around on the screen. Usually lost in a sea of tourism, the banal artifact of history finds a voice in my video. Expressively, the pixilated image of Andrew Jackson is placed between the two videos as a static reminder that it is the symbol of focus. Pixilating the image highlights tourisms deprivation of historical truth.