Helen Cammock’s “I Will Keep My Soul”

By LARB Radio HourApril 28, 2023

Helen Cammock’s “I Will Keep My Soul”
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Kate Wolf is joined by the Turner prize-winning artist Helen Cammock to discuss her new book, and current exhibition at Art and Practice in Los Angeles, I Will Keep My Soul. Both are drawn from Cammock’s time in New Orleans—which she began to visit early last year—and address the city’s social history, geography, and community. Her book brings together poetry, film stills, photography, collage, and a number of archival documents from the Amistad Research Center. One of the focuses of Cammock’s research is the artist Elizabeth Cattlet, an active member of the Civil Rights Movement who taught in New Orleans early in her career in the 1940s before leaving the US for Mexico. Decades later, she received a commission to create a sculpture of Louis Armstrong in Congo Square, a historical meeting place for enslaved people in the city. Cattlet’s words and work are woven throughout the book, and evoke the rich accumulations of history that are ever present, and constantly presenting themselves, within a contemporary encounter of place.

Also, Colm Toibin, author of A Guest at the Feast, returns to recommend Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These.

LARB Contributor

The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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