New Orleans, Louisiana.- ‘Prospect.2 New Orleans’, the second edition of the international contemporary art biennial, opens to the public on October 22nd and will be on view through January 29th 2012. Curated by Artistic Director, Dan Cameron, “Prospect.2” features 27 local, national, and international artists from a variety of artistic and cultural backgrounds, and a total of nine different countries, including the United States, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Japan, Chile, Iceland and Vietnam. New Orleans was the first U.S. city to host a recurring international art exhibition, beginning in 1887 with the exhibition of the Art Association of New Orleans. In this tradition and like its predecessor, Prospect.1, Prospect.2 features art originating from New Orleans and Louisiana within an international context, as well as significant works by international and U.S.- based artists conceived and developed specifically for the city.
“Prospect.2” opens on Saturday, October 22, 2011 with a series of festivities including three special performances by participating artists. R. Luke DuBois, a new media artist and composer, is presenting The Marigny Parade, a public performance and music piece. The Marigny Parade is taking place around the Marigny Triangle in New Orleans and features nearly 350 musicians from three renowned New Orleans high school and middle school marching bands, including The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, The Eleanor McMain Marching Mustang Band, and the O. Perry Walker High School Marching Band. The 350 musicians, performing as five separate groups, will play a new composition written by DuBois. Beginning at 11:00am, the five groups will begin marching from five different locations in the city, converging on Washington Square for the finale of the piece. The performance will be followed by the Prospect.2 ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opens the biennial. Performance artist and sculptor William Pope.L, is presenting a performance and video installation entitled Blink. For the work, the artist asked New Orleans residents to donate photos in response to the questions: “When you dream of New Orleans, what do you dream of? // When you wake up in the morning, what do you see?”
These donated images will be part of a video installation mounted on a truck – a modern, travelling version of a “magic lantern” projection – that will traverse the city of New Orleans from sundown on October 22, 2011 through sunrise the following day. The video, intended to be a collective “memory bank” of the residents of New Orleans, will be stationed at Xavier University’s Art Village following the performance for the duration of the biennial. Also as part of the opening day program, Baltimore-based artist, Joyce J. Scott is presenting a performance entitled, Miss Veronica’s Veil, at 4:00pm in Café Istanbul at the New Orleans Healing Center. The performance, presented together with 2 singers, a tuba player and a guitarist, alternates between songs, spoken word, and actions, telling the tale of Miss V, a contemporary manifestation of Saint Veronica, who is frustrated by the reoccurring events of history – especially the chasm between men and women. Scott, best known for her glass and beaded sculptural works, is also be featured at Newcomb College Art Gallery with a selection of past and recent work, which includes an outdoor sculpture produced especially for Prospect.2 in collaboration with the local glass studio Inferno.
Among the internationally renowned artists participating in the biennial is Sophie Calle, who presents a new iteration of her long-term project, True Stories. For Prospect.2, the project has been reimagined as a site-specific installation that will employ Calle’s signature blending of reality and fiction. In the work, she weaves her personal narrative into the history of the 1850 House of the Louisiana State Museum, one of the apartments in the famous Pontalba Apartments in Jackson Square in New Orleans. When the house was bequeathed to the Louisiana State Museum in 1927, the museum recreated what the home would have looked like in its original, Antebellum-era state. In her installation, Calle transforms the historic house by inserting her own items of sentimental value, such as photographs, texts, paintings, and clothes into the various rooms, and in doing so, seamlessly blend the lines between past and present, reality and fantasy, and public and private. Memphis-based photographer and filmmaker William Eggleston, presents an exhibition of rarely shown works, including a black and white photographic series entitled Nightclub Portraits, and a continuous screening of his film Stranded in Canton, which has been described as an intimate and gritty view of Memphis. Eggleston’s works are on view at the Old U.S. Mint, Louisiana State Museum.
Sculptor and filmmaker Francesco Vezzoli, presents a site-specific, sculptural installation entitled, Portrait of Sophia Loren as the Muse of Antiquity (After Giorgio de Chirico), at the Piazza d’Italia, a landmark of early postmodernist architecture designed in the late 1970s by Charles Moore, and restored in 2004. The installation features a statue of the actress done in an exaggerated surrealistic style, with a red carpet leading from the ground level, to the upper stairwell. Several artists participating in “Prospect.2” are presenting works that embody the spirit of New Orleans, and have been specifically created for the biennial and the city. Alexis Rockman and An-My Lê present works that consider the geographical location of New Orleans and the environmental and political issues facing the region and its inhabitants. Rockman presents a mural-scale painting imagining a war between species indigenous to the Louisiana bayou and those that have been introduced to the bayou ecosystem within the past 500 years. Vietnamese photographer An-
My Lê presents a new series of photographs based on her investigations into the lives of Vietnamese nationals who have migrated to southern Louisiana throughout the past 25 years. An-My Lê has worked directly with the Vietnamese community of New Orleans East to produce this new body of work, which reflects the ties of this community to the Mekong Delta region in Vietnam. Highlights of the biennial also include work from artists who currently live and work in New Orleans. Among these artists are Dan Tague, who is presenting a new installation entitled The U.S. Dept. of Civil Disobedience, which explores areas of overlap between high school social studies and the history of radical politics in the United States; Dawn DeDeaux, who has created a large-scale multimedia installation work entitled Goddess Fortuna And Her Dunces In An E ort To Make Sense Of It All, which is inspired by John Kennedy Toole’s literary masterwork, The Confederacy of Dunces; and Bruce Davenport Jr., who is presenting some of his most ambitious drawings to date, including a series of large-scale works which express the unique richness of marching bands as a dominant force in the local arts culture.
Works will be shown at sites throughout several different neighborhoods of New Orleans, including the French Quarter, Tremé, St. Claude, the Warehouse District, City Park, and Tulane and Xavier Universities. Venues range from museums and major cultural institutions, to public spaces, and non-traditional exhibition spaces. For the first time, Prospect will also exhibit in Lafayette, Louisiana with a video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson presented at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Additional Prospect.2 venues include: Art House on the Levee; Contemporary Art Center New Orleans; Isaac Delgado Art Gallery, Delgado Community College; Historic New Orleans Collection – Broulatour Mansion and Courtyard; 1850 House, Louisiana State Museum; U.S. Mint, Louisiana State Museum; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University; New Orleans African American Museum; New Orleans Healing Center; Dutch Alley Performance Pavilion; New Orleans Museum of Art; Ogden Museum of Southern Art; Piazza d’Italia, The American Italian Cultural Center; UNO St. Claude Gallery; Xavier University,
Founded in 2008 by Dan Cameron, Prospect New Orleans is one of the leading biennials of international contemporary art in the United States. Conceived in the tradition of the great international biennials, such as the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo, Prospect New Orleans showcases new artistic practices from around the world in settings that are both historic and culturally exceptional, and contributes to the cultural economy of New Orleans and the Louisiana Gulf region by spurring cultural tourism and bringing international attention to the area’s vibrant visual arts community. Visit the biennal’s website at … http://www.prospectneworleans.org/