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GoNOLA Guide: How to Make the Most of Prospect.4

Prospect.4 Genevieve Gaignard LGBTQ Fall
Prospect.4 features the "White Rain" Chromogenic print by Genevieve Gaignard. Photo courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.

Prospect New Orleans is a citywide triennial contemporary art event, whose fourth iteration, Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, opened on Saturday, November 18 to parties and ribbon cutting events throughout the city. Parallel to the New Orleans Tricentennial celebration, Prospect.4 will run until February 25, 2018, so you still have plenty of time to soak up all that the triennial has to offer.

Louis Armstrong
Gems from Buenos, c. 1960
7 1⁄4 x 7 1⁄4 inches
Reel-to-reel tape box collage containing photographs and Scotch tape
Image courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

Like other Prospect New Orleans events, Prospect.4 (P.4), features local, national, and international artists with exhibitions in culturally significant venues. To honor the 300-year anniversary of New Orleans, P.4 places special importance on the art of the Global South, including North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the European colonial history of the region. Prospect’s Interim Director Yvla Rouse, who GoNOLA interviewed in preparation for P.4’s opening, and her team have worked tirelessly to make this event one for the books.

Thirty-two of the participating P.4 artists created new works or site-specific installations just for The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss any of these original pieces. Additionally, several participating artists are from New Orleans, including Darryl Montana, Big Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas, local underground legends Quintron and Miss Pussycat, filmmaker and native daughter of the Houma Nation Monique Verdin.  

Navigating P.4

P.4 exhibitions are spread throughout New Orleans and you won’t want to miss a single one. To make navigating the event easier, attendees can pick up an official map and guide from the P.4 Welcome Center located in the Arts District at 750 Carondelet St. The nearby Contemporary Art Center houses the works of 26 Prospect Artists, so this may be a good place to start your P.4  journey. In addition to the official venues, over 100 local artists, galleries, and studios are participating in P.S Satellites, so keep an eye out for P.S signage as you explore New Orleans. P.4 attendees can travel to exhibitions in all corners of the city by car, bike, or public transit.

(Above: Mark DION, Installation view, Mark Dion: Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions
The Drawing Center, NY, April 14-July 16, 2017)

GoNOLA’s Must-see Pieces

1. A new permanent work by Michel Varisco on the Lafitte Greenway.

2. Louis Armstrong’s own collages, primarily created as covers for reel-to-reel tapes, radio shows, and mix tapes, displayed at the Old U.S Mint.

3. Kara Walker’s Algiers Point work The Katastwóf Karavan featuring a thirty-two-note steam calliope and re-envisioned plaque marking the site of the historic slave barracks.

4. Mark Dion’s Algiers Point sculptural instillation titled “Field Station for the Melancholy Marine Biologist,” featuring curiosity cabinets filled with scientific specimens and artifacts as well as everyday objects belonging to the fictitious scientist inhabitant of the field station.

5. Outdoor sculptures, murals, and video in Crescent Park, marking the first time the park has been used as a venue for a major exhibition.

6. John Akomfrah’s feature length three-channel conceptual documentary on Buddy Bolden, shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

7. Odili Donald Odita’s  “The Indivisible and Invincible: Monument to Black Liberation and Celebration in the City of New Orleans,” featuring  a series of custom flags hung at 16 sites throughout New Orleans that were  important to African American History.

8. New paintings by 2017 MacArthur Genius Fellow Njideka Akunyili Crosby at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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