Prospect.1 New Orleans

I interviewed an artist up in Covington for my day job. He asked if I had seen any of Prospect.1, the international art exposition going on all over New Orleans. There are installations and showings of 80 artists from all over the world. The U.S. Mint and the Contemporary Arts Center are the main venues. Various galleries, museums, and other non-traditional locations play host to some installations as well.

The artist I met is named Bernard Mattox. He paints, but most of his career he’s been a sculptor, working in ceramics. Here’s a shot of his studio, where he’s working on his latest painting.

He recommended I go to the Mint to see an installation by an artist who is from Covington, but works in Los Angeles now.

I already planned to go across the lake Saturday for a big meetup with Nolanotes and some other twitter people. It went really well. Leigh brought up Prospect.1 during lunch, and pointed out the maps they had distributed. Here is the map online, it’s a pretty big .pdf, but it has all the information for what’s installed citywide.

So we set out to the Mint. Bunch of artists there, the guy from Covington, Stephen G. Rhodes, had an interesting installation. Here’s the Times-Picayune’s review of it. It’s difficult to describe, pretty large scale, overwhelming almost. You’re inside of it, it’s like the aftermath of a large post-election party in a room full of video screens. Disney’s Hall of Presidents, ghost portraits, torn furniture, popped balloons, it’s wild. There were a lot of coins on the floor, loose change. I decided to take out some pockect change and throw it on the floor, too.

The art is spread out citywide. We followed the map from the Mint to the Lower Ninth, and hunted down two of the installations put in near where the levee broke there.

This one’s called Window and Ladder – Too Late for Help. It’s by Argentine artist Leandro Erlich.

That area’s still pretty barren. There was a refrigerator all busted up and moldy on the street in front of it. Whether it’s been there since August 29, 2005, or not, I don’t know. It could have been, but I somehow doubt, put there on purpose.

It’s the area where Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is building green homes for residents to return to the area. They’re different than what was in the area before, that’s for sure, but affordable and renewable, incorporating features like solar panels.

Here’s one that was across from another Prospect.1 installation.

The area is still pretty darn bleak, and full of odd sights. This could well have been considered an art installation anywhere else in the world. In New Orleans, it was just a motorcycle on a slab.

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3 Responses to Prospect.1 New Orleans

  1. liprap on November 10, 2008 at 7:49 am

    The surroundings are what makes the art installations in the Lower Nine unsettling. The surreality of remembering what was once a neighborhood and seeing it in your mind’s eye, plus observing what is there now…it is an environment that is already “off”. It is one of the things I hope people keep in mind when they come here to see the art in these places.

  2. […] We met at Bud’s Broiler on Calhoun St for a group noshing of burgers & fries & other things delicious. Conversation was lively and far-ranging from a good place to get a haircut to NOLAnotes’ geneaology research to art in the form of Prospect 1. Ponchartrain Pete has a great post about his Prospect 1 galavanthere. […]

  3. blathering on November 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Great photos! as usual. Your photo of the motorcycle on the slab with the bridge in the back is art.

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