Today at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, curator Franklin Sirmans lifted the curtain on Prospect.3, the third iteration of the international art biennial in New Orleans that will take place in venues across the city over three months starting in October. (Read our profile of Franklin Sirmans here).
Drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Walker Percy's novel The Moviegoer, painter Paul Gauguin's search for an exotic identity, and the lively, performance-inspiring nature of New Orleans itself, Sirmans' theme for Prospect.3 is "Notes for Now." He expanded on this idea by saying, "I believe that visual art is a means of having discussions that don't take place in other places."
With over 55 artists being showcased from countries all over the world, Prospect.3 is truly international, one of the few such biennials in the South. In a press release, Prospect.3 expanded on the thematic scope of the event:
Guided by several curatorial themes, P.3’s exhibitions, site-specific installations and new works will address: The New Orleans Experience, Seeing Oneself in the Other, The South, Crime and Punishment, Movie going, The Carnivalesque, Abstraction, Visual Sound, and will seamlessly tie together the largesse of the show through commissions by several artists under the moniker, All Together Now.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose complicated legacy is linked to Andy Warhol and the speculative art market of NYC in the eighties,will be the focus of a show at the Ogden called "Basquiat in the Bayou." Sirmans said, "He thought about this space [New Orleans & Southern Louisiana] a lot," citing his painting of jazz musicians "King Zulu."
Other artists highlighted by Sirmans include Alma Thomas, a ground-breaking African-American expressionist painter and educator, the photographer Carrie Mae Weems, British sculptor Hew Locke, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (who designed on of the Make It Right Foundation's homes in the Lower Ninth Ward), and Lebanese "bodyscape" painter Huguette Caland.
Artists chosen to represent Louisiana and New Orleans include multimedia and performance artist Tameka Norris, documentary photographers Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick, abstract painter Ed Clark, and painter Douglas Bourgeois.
Aside from visual artists, there will also be site-specific installations and performances, as well as a closing curatorial program that will look at the perception between regional and international art coordinated by the New Orleans Museum of Art's Miranda Lash and a partner from the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham,NC.
See the full list of artists here and follow us for ongoing Prospect.3 coverage.