Friday Night Grind

The old world character of New Orleans is at once elegant, cultured, and refined, yet dilapidated, boisterous, and vulgar. To document these abundant eccentricities, Jackie Brenner is drawn to subjects that expose the night people of her hometown with Bourbon Street and its strip clubs as the perfect tease. To gain entry into this darkened, shadowy world was difficult. Friday nights, better known as date night in the Crescent City, were chosen to penetrate the fantasy, harshness, and humanity of the stripper's world; to become a witness to the reality of their otherwordly existence. These are women who find the amount of money that can be earned too hard to pass up regardless of the consequences. They are a little bit of everyone just trying to make it through the day using whatever resources are available. When she began this project, Brenner was expecting the strippers to be mere objects and she finished it knowing these ladies as human beings. Jackie Brenner's enigmatic images now serve as historical record of the time before Hurricane Katrina's devastation created another obstacle in the path for all of us who are addicted to the character of New Orleans. Just as these women struggle to survive, so will New Orleans, as her people fight to preserve, rebuild and insure the integrity of her survival.