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Daneeta Loretta Jackson’s (’88) Chalmatia: A Fictional Place Down the Road

Daneeta Jackson’s (as partner in The Elektrik Zoo) creation, Chalmatia (shall-MAY-shuh): A Fictional Place Down the Road, was shown at the CAC through September 2013. The exhibition was supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency. 

New Orleans-based Daneeta Jackson and Patrick Jackson - collectively known as The Elektrik Zoo - used photographs, film, text, and three-dimensional objects to portray a fictionalized community called Chalmatia as it exists over time on the outskirts of New Orleans. Chalmatia's fractured landscape encompasses broken strip malls, empty lots, and the bare cement slabs that once supported a thriving community. Its remaining inhabitants populate a place largely defined by what's no longer there. But Chalmatia's not static. Unseen realms hover just out of sight, and the landscape has already begun to evolve.

Artists' Statement

Some of what you read in here is true. Some of it beautiful lies. Warning: We've been known to take poetic license. This is Chalmatia, a world filled with Children and Old People. Pretty much everyone else is gone. The children wait for life to happen. The old folks wait for life to end.

All of the subjects/inhabitants are connected through us (we are the common denominator) ... family members, friends, people we meet through work. Some have known each other for life. Some are connected only through our co-creation of Chalmatia, and some don't know each other at all. This is a story collectively told in stream-of-consciousness multimedia within a very bricks and mortar space.

Artists' Bio

After growing up in Southeast Louisiana, Daneeta Jackson made her way to the London Film School via Tokyo where she hooked up with Swede Patrick Jackson. They have been collaborating on artworks for 13 years. More recently, Daneeta and Patrick won the Best Louisiana Short award at the 2011 New Orleans Film Festival with a film called Destiny Lives Down the Road, a part of their ongoing Chalmatia project. Chalmatia employs not only film but photo blogs, published writings, and interactive content to explore the stories of a fictional tribe on the outskirts of New Orleans.