by Christopher Saucedo
Franklin Ave. at Mithra Street, New Orleans, LA
Floodwaters rise and recede, and those who survive mark the event and continue. “Flood-Marker” continues this tradition in a literal but also conceptual vein. Rather than a small plaque and waterline attached to any wall, this “Flood Marker” is an 8,000 lb freestanding and monumental granite block of water.
The stone is elevated on a series of processional rollers not unlike those that ancient stonecutters used to move the huge stone blocks into place on the pyramids. The great block of water becomes a nomadic monolith at rest. It has the potential to be moved but only through extreme human effort. The rollers also serve as benches, a place for the public to sit and rest. The extreme effort it would take to roll the monolith is no longer needed, the viewer’s job is done, the burden is over and a well-deserved rest is offered as is a place to reflect on this catastrophic event.
This sculpture is intended to memorialize the New Orleans Flood of 2005 without overt judgment. The hope and strength of the work are presented in the purposeful carving of a timeless material, the implied narrative of a group effort and the physical reminder that because we have erected this monument we have endured. This public sculpture is not a literal flood marker; it does not tell us how high the waters rose in any specific part of our city. Instead it is the aesthetic expression of a defining event in time. 1,836 waves are carved into the stone, one wave for each life lost to the water.
Artist's Website: http://www.saucedostudio.com/Additional Images
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