Takashi Horisaki's Social Dress New Orleans - 730 days after

"We had an artist who came in one day crying-- I mean, literally crying-- that he had selected a  house that was crumbling, and he was going to make a skin of it with latex and take that skin and reconstruct it as the skeleton of this house, the skin of this house. He went back to the [site] after he’d gotten all the materials. There was a big sign on it, saying, 'No trespassing. House will be torn down within 10 days.' So he came to us and said, 'What'll we do?'

So we had to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it was artwork.  We would get a phone call at the end of every 10 days saying, 'Is it still art?' And we'd say, 'It's still art,' until it was finished.  And then that skin went to Socrates Sculpture Park up in New York and was exhibited all of the summer of 2006, then came back here and was part of the first Prospect New Orleans Biennale. The house is now long gone, but it lives in memory in this skin.

[The artist] had gone to school here and came back after the storm….He borrowed a bike and just rode up and down all the streets until he found this one house that he wanted to turn into a work of art. And it turned out to be a beautiful piece of work."—Mary Len Costa, Interim Director, Art Council of New Orleans

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1941 Caffin Avenue, a Hurricane Katrina-damaged house in New Orleans that was the site of an art work by Takashi Horisaki. Horisaki made a “skin” of the house that was then exhibited in New York’s Socrates Sculpture Park. Photo courtesy of Arts Council of New Orleans.

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Notice posted by artist that house was being used as art project site. Photo courtesy of Arts Council of New Orleans.

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View of the 1941 Caffin Avenue work site in New Orleans. Photo by Richard Tugwell, courtesy Takashi Horisaki

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Volunteers Stu and Rebecca applying latex and cheesecloth to the outside of the house. Photo by Jurgen Vogt, courtesy of Takashi Horisaki

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Takashi Horisaki at the work site in New Orleans. Photo by Michael White, courtesy of Takashi Horisaki

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The side of the shotgun house, covered in layers of cheesecloth and latex. The grey areas are pigmented latex, the pink areas are pure latex discolored by the sunlight, and the cream-colored areas are newly applied latex. Photo by Richard Tugwell, courtesy of Takashi Horisaki

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Horisaki peeling a sheet of latex from the shotgun house in New Orleans. Photo by Richard Tugwell, courtesy of Takashi Horisaki

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Latex being peeled from the surface of the house, copying the wood grain pattern from the wood siding. Photo by Michael White, courtesy of Takashi Horisaki

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Social Dress New Orleans - 730 days after, installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City. ©Takashi Horisaki

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Northern exterior wall of Social Dress New Orleans - 730 days after, installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City. ©Takashi Horisaki

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View of Manhattan skyline through the window from the interior of Social Dress New Orleans - 730 days after, installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City. ©Takashi Horisaki