News

The great outdoors: Prospect.4's outdoor works

A look at the event's easily accessible art in public spaces

comment

Many of the more iconic works in Prospect.4 are sculptures and installations at easily accessible public spaces.

Here are some of the expo's outdoor works.


Algiers Point
101-199 Mississippi River Trail, Algiers Point
• Environmental installation artist Mark Dion created Field Station for the Melancholy Marine Biologist, a structure that's like a monument to the whimsical ruminations of a philosophical scientist confronted with the quandary of knowing how to save our rapidly deteriorating coast while lacking the means to do so.

• Slated to appear in February at Algiers Point is art star Kara Walker's Katastwof Karavan, a 30-note steam calliope that plays the songs and sounds associated with the newly arrived slaves who were held at Algiers Point prior to being taken across the river to be sold at slave auctions.

Lafitte Greenway
Lafitte Avenue at Jefferson Davis Parkway
• Louisiana's troubled coastal ecology inspired Michel Varisco's five-foot-tall, cylindrical steel Turning, which appears like solar-powered Nepalese prayer wheels emanating blue light.

Citywide
• Social ecology takes center stage in Odili Donald Odita's colorfully interwoven abstract flags located at 15 sites about town. Rather than any one nationality, they symbolize his ideal of a world driven by the recognition that different cultures "need each other's energy to exist in beauty and freedom."

jen_odem_--_water_tables_-_300.jpg

Crescent Park
1008 N. Peters St.
• Jennifer Odem's Water Tables constructions (above) suggest visual puns left behind by playful water sprites, but look again, and their gracefully spindly forms are actually stacked wooden tables that not only suggest stylized Asian pagodas but also recall the huts on stilts built by 18th century Filipino mutineers from Spanish galleons in the waters of Lake Borgne at St. Malo, the oldest Asian community in North America.

• Radcliffe Bailey's stark steel cylinder like a tugboat smokestack enclosing a suspended conch shell resonating the ambient sounds of the waterfront.

• The most powerful piece in the park is the Afro-minimalist Piety Street bridge designed by Ghana-born, London-based architect David Adjaye. (Not part of Prospect.4.)

history_of_conquest_-_hank_willis_thomas.jpg

Old U.S. Mint
400 Esplanade Ave.
• Hank Willis Thomas' surreal yet stunningly gorgeous History of Conquest (below) is a large bronze sculpture of a Moorish boy warrior astride a giant snail located at the foot of Esplanade Avenue outside the Old U.S. Mint. It is based on 17th century German jeweler Jerimias Ritter's much smaller decorative bauble, Snail with Nautilus Shell. Did Europeans really think Moorish boy warriors rode giant snails into battle? Considering Christopher Columbus was so insistent that America was India that Native Americans still are sometimes called "Indians," anything is possible. But beyond how its dreamy lines might make for a dynamite Mardi Gras float, History of Conquest reminds us that even the most ignominious errors of history can be reborn, through the healing hands of artists, as sublime objects of wonder.

Add a comment