Prospect.1 New Orleans


Mark Bradford, "Mithra"


Friday afternoon I traveled to the Lower Ninth Ward, in New Orleans, to see artworks that are part of the biennial, Prospect.1 New Orleans. The New Orleans Contemporary Art Center has organized biennials before, but this one, curated by Dan Cameron, is much larger. It includes 81 artists whose works are scattered across 17 New Orleans locations. If it were called an “art world’s fair,” it might be clearer to folks just what it is.

A couple of weeks ago I started visiting the sites on the official biennial map. The majority of the works I saw today were located outside, which gave me an opportunity to shoot some photos. Above is a photo of artist Mark Bradford’s piece “Mithra.”

His works usually are made from what he finds on the street. His other works, that I’ve seen, include a lot more painting. This one was more of a constructed piece – an ark in fact. You may have guessed that Bradford does have a sense of humor about the site location for his artwork. There are old posters that are falling apart on the sides of this structure.  The Lower Ninth Ward was flooded when a barge hit a floodwall during Hurricane Katrina. Much of the neighborhood close to the wall was destroyed. There are large areas of empty lots now – including this one.

In addition to the biennial there are exhibits referred to as satellite shows. There are also gallery shows and other events in connection with the biennial. The biennial started November 1st and will end on January 18th. Already there is talk about the next biennial Prospect.2, which would be in 2010.

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