P.3 Director Franklin Sirmans announces art biennial details



Franklin Sirmans is the artistic director of P.3.
  • Franklin Sirmans is the artistic director of P.3.

Artistic director Franklin Sirmans announced details of Prospect New Orleans' third international art biennial P.3 at a press conference at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He announced more than 60 artists whose work will be shown at 14 venues and additional installation sites. Titled "Notes for Now," P.3 includes visual art, film and music installations, site-specific installations, performances and more. It opens Oct. 25 and runs through Jan. 25, 2015.

In a brief presentation, Sirmans detailed his approach to curating the biennial. He drew on the Walker Percy's 1961 novel The Moviegoer, which is set in New Orleans, as well as artists' search for self, particularly noting French painter Paul Gauguin's 1891 Tahiti-set work Under the Pandanus and a work by Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral. "Gauguin searches for himself in exoticized others," Sirmans said.

Under the Pandanus by Paul Gauguin.
  • Under the Pandanus by Paul Gauguin.

Most of the artists are contemporary artists, with the exception of Gauguin, Amaral, Jean-Michel Basquiat and a handful of others. More than 30 artists are American, and Louisiana artists include Douglas Bourgeois, photographer Chandra McCormick, Tameka Norris, whose work was exhibited in Prospect 1.5, and Herbert Singleton, whose work was included in Prospect 1. The roster includes artists from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Lebanon, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey and elsewhere. Japanese artist/architect Shigeru Ban will present architectural works at Longue Vue House and Gardens. Ugandan artist Zarina Bhimji will present several film installations. The recently deceased Terry Adkins' work The Last Trumpet will be shown at Dillard University. Peruvian photographer William Cordova's work includes photos taken in New Orleans. The full list of P.3 artists is here.

P.3 venues include the New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Contemporary Arts Center, Isaac Delgado Art Gallery at Delgado Community College, Tulane University's Newcomb Art Gallery and the George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art. Art galleries include the UNO St. Claude Gallery, May Gallery and Le Musee de F.P.C. There also will be installations in City Park.

Prospect New Orleans was founded by curator Dan Cameron as a response to the flooding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. The first biennial, Prospect.1, opened in fall 2008 and featured 81 artists from around the globe and received critical acclaim. It drew 50,000 visitors to New Orleans and had an economic impact of $24 million, said Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation. Prospect 2 opened in fall 2011 and featured 27 artists. Sirmans was named artistic director of P.3 in November 2011. He also serves as curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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