Hell's Bells/Sulfur/Honey by Sophie T. Lvoff
It is widely understood that New Orleans is a city of mystery, faith, and magic. However, the quotidian underlies the mystique. I’m interested in what happens when the colorful, heavy, and humid atmosphere collides with the mystic landscape -- the landscape being loaded with history while at the same time being turned over and rebuilt everyday. When looking at my series of photographs, different eras are displayed in any given scene in between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The quotidian of New Orleans is unthinkable in another city because elements line up and light up in some cosmic and timeless manner. I drive upon the roads of the city, looking for locations where I feel something ethereal and tangible -- "classic" cars, hand painted signs, graveyards and bars on the same block, tropical vegetation and churches-- are all part of this glimmer of the mundane. My eye is mediated through a means of analog recording and framing, drawing me to a variety of available light sources-- late afternoon sunlight, street lamps and neon, overcast and diffused sunlight, stained-glass windows, garage door lights, and window display lamps. The noise is sucked out of the picture and what is left is an observation on the aura of New Orleans.
The title of this project comes from elements in a Louisiana Voodoo "cure-all" spell that can solve all one's problems. The elements are to be mixed together, put in a glass, rubbed on a black cat and then slowly sipped. Hell's Bells are poisonous (aka Datura or Jimson weed) and are commonly found in New Orleans.
Sophie T Lvoff lives and works in New Orleans, LA.
To view more of Sophie's work, please visit her website.