Thursday, October 23, 2008

Site # 8 Stephen Collier "Croatoan" Dec 2006; Tennessee Street, Lower 9th Ward (*NLP)

(*NLP = no longer physical)

"For this installation the word “Croatoan” was hand painted on all the dead trees that are lined along Tennessee Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. Tennessee Street was chosen because the only things that remained on the street at this time were dead oak trees and the occasional cinder block. All of the homes had been removed. There were no signs of life on this once lively street.

This desertedness echoes the mysterious word “Croatoan” first discovered by Governor John White in 1590. White found “Croatoan” carved in a tree in Roanoke Island. This word was the only trace of the first English colony left there a few years before. The colony was never found. They are now known as the “lost colony”. "Croatoan” has mysterious and unpleasant connotations. It is the same feeling one gets while walking down Tennessee Street in the Lower Ninth Ward." - Stephen Collier