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How to Build a Forest

PearlDamour + Shawn Hall, 2011-2015

Speaker/Breather (New Orleans Performance, 2015)


Conceived by Obie Award-winning duo PearlDamour + Shawn Hall

Sound by Brendan Connelly


"How to Build a Forest is a polysynthetic, interdisciplinary hybrid of a project. Part visual art installation and part theater performance, this durational event unfolds over eight hours.


Beginning in an empty space, visual artist Shawn Hall and theater/performance artists Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour—along with a four-person crew—work meticulously to construct, dismantle, and remove an elaborately fabricated forest. Inspired by 100 trees lost at a Louisiana family home following Hurricane Katrina, How to Build a Forest is also strongly informed by the ecological consequences of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Through visual art, performance, and sound design, How to Build a Forest articulates the disconnect between urban dwellers and the natural world. The “forest,” made of fabric and found materials, reflects the deeply interconnected relationship between humans and nature…how they live in it, rely on it, use it, and consume it. Using performance to explore our connection to a fragile environment, the artists expose both the creative and destructive processes that can apply to an art installation, a natural ecosystem, or the landscape of an entire city."- CAC



October 2015, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

(For information on earlier performances, click below)

PREVIEW: How to Build a Forest (Doug McCash, NOLA.COM)


PREVIEW: How to Build a Forest (Brad Rhines, New Orleans Advocate)


" environment for meditation on the human and natural cycles of consumption and rebuilding." -Will Coviello, Gambit Weekly



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