Prospect.3: Notes for Now in New Orleans
By Paul Laster
Launched in 2007, two years after Hurricane Katrina had devastated large areas of New Orleans and the Louisiana gulf region of the United States, Prospect New Orleans was conceived as an international biennial—by founder and former director Dan Cameron, who had curated the 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003) and 10th Taipei Biennial (2006)—to exhibit contemporary artistic practices, while contributing to the city’s cultural and economic recovery. Its third edition, “Prospect.3: Notes for Now,” which has been astutely organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art chief curator and P.3 artistic director Franklin Sirmans, is notable for the large number of Asian artists featured in the exhibition.
“I was conscious of the fact that the show should reflect the international art conversation that’s going on in all parts of the world, but there had to be some sort of tie between those regions and New Orleans,” Sirmans told ArtAsiaPacific at the opening. “For example, The Propeller Group explored rituals in Vietnam vis-à-vis rituals here in New Orleans. There’s a decent-size Vietnamese population in New Orleans, so those types of things made perfect sense. I tried to be as open as possible, and eventually things began to click. I’m fortunate to have traveled to major international art biennials—from Venice to Gwangju—and have had conversations with their artistic directors. That played a huge role.”