Souvenirs of Earth: Responses to Dawn DeDeaux at NOMA

“If I had a moment to pack, what would I take with me to remember my experience of Earth? What would survive the exodus prompted by a disaster or the ascent through a heat-charged atmospheric barrier? And how would I protect my souvenirs in new environmental conditions on an airship or another planet? What will remain of art: a surviving postcard? What of culture: the shards of a baseball bat? What of land: a seed? What of love: a knot of hair?”
          —Dawn DeDeaux

Souvenirs of Earth invites us all to consider what object we might take with us if forced to flee the Earth. Begun in 2014 by artist Dawn DeDeaux, Souvenirs of Earth responds to the increasing urgency of climate change, by asking us to confront the growing threat of humanity’s extinction. Over time, the project has evolved into a community portrait of loss and survival including everything from seeds and raw earth to postcards of famous paintings, frayed books, models of famous monuments and historical sites, ashes, and knots of hair. 

In this video (produced by Laneslense), people from across the New Orleans community explain why their selected object is important to them. What object would you take?

Over the course of Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds, visitors have been invited to share their own ideas for what they might take as a reminder of life of Earth. A selection of those responses are below.

Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Besthoff; Ralph and Susan Brennan; Dathel and Tommy Coleman; Dr. and Mrs. Byron Crawford; Catherine Burns Tremaine; Sarah and Harvey Wier, in memory of Nan Wier; David B. Workman; and The Robert E. Zetzmann Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Tina Freeman and Philip Woollam; The Arthur Roger Fund for NOMA; John C. Abajian and Scott R. Simmons; Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Davis; Melissa and John D. Gray; Yorke Lawson; Renee and Stewart Peck; Hugh and Beth Lambert; Robyn and Andrew Schwarz; Shaun and Foster Duncan; Charles L. Whited; and Friends of Bill Bertrand, in honor of his retirement. Special thanks to collaborators Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology, John Fischbach, Misha Kachkachishvili and Esplanade Recording Studio, and Pedro Segundo.