Artist Collaboration: voir une voie

A public art project by Manon Bellet and Erik Kiesewetter
New Orleans, Summer 2020

About Voir une voie (to see a voice):

Initiated by Manon Bellet, an artist and New Orleans resident since 2016, and Erik Kiesewetter, an independent multi-disciplinary designer. Voir une voie ( to see a voice) it's an ongoing project who poses the question of the relationship between art and public space—in our present and for the future—during this public health crisis.

The central idea is to invite an artist, writer, or thinker to submit a short text and / or image. This submission could range from an article, poetry, fiction, or a text of one’s own composition— what has been read or written about during the pandemic reflecting the difficult time we are collectively facing that may give us hope or alternative ways of thinking and processing our environment.

Each Saturday evening from 8.30—11p, these texts and images are projected as a loop on the neighboring façade from our home in New Orleans. So far 40 artist from Europe and the US have submit projects.To archive the project we have pamphlet, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter-Constance. So far an edition of 5 has been printed.

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Inhale small fears they turn into doubts into words into ideas
into anger into hatred into violence.

Exhale large fears and large words they tumble back onto you
it's easy to get buried by our own mirrors.

Inhale small fears and they whisper and travel to your mind
observe them and thank them for trying to protect you.

Exhale acknowledgment of the beauty within your instincts
and the courage to love small fears.

Inhale hard love suck in the smell and reward reap eat chew
swallow devour all the goodness and love that is given to you.

Exhale calmness in acknowledgment of the beauty within the
courage it takes to not fear love.

- From “Split Tooth” by Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq is a Canadian Inuit throat singer, improvisational performer, avant-garde composer, and award-winning novelist. The above passage is from her debut novel, “Split Tooth.” I received this book last year as a gift from my older brother, who lives in Quebec, but only found the time to read it during the first long days of quarantine.

“Split Tooth” is a stirring and at times hallucinatory coming-of-age story about an Inuk girl who grows up in Canada’s most northerly territory of Nunavut—a sparsely populated archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Tagaq’s writing is fearless and visceral, not unlike her young protagonist who must navigate life within a hostile climate, with its months-long darkness and life-threatening cold, as well as the violence she experiences at the hands of adults, themselves often victim to conditions of systemic poverty and cultural loss. She does so with unparalleled wisdom and bravery. Her strength is both intoxicating and, at times, terrifying to witness—for the reader, but perhaps most of all to herself.

For me, this book was timely in its vivid address of what it takes to endure conditions of extreme solitude. It also offered a reminder of the unavoidable coexistence of pain and joy, violence and beauty. The wintry conditions that nearly kill our protagonist also bring her rapture and the promise of new life, as she beholds the Northern Lights one night, lying on her back upon the ice.

Submission from –
Allison Young. Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History, Louisiana State University. Josephine Street.

Photography: Erik Kiesewetter- Manon Bellet
Graphic Design: Erik Kiesewetter - Constance