An interview with Ylva Rouse, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs for Prospect New Orleans
Prospect.1, which opened in 2007, was an art extravaganza the likes of which New Orleans had never seen. Art invaded any kind of space imaginable – including a former furniture store and a repurposed FEMA trailer, as well as more traditional spots – with the theme of New Orleans’ post-Katrina recovery (or lack thereof) at the forefront of many of the works. Prospect.2 in 2011 was a smaller production by comparison but still felt like an exciting art scavenger hunt. Prospect.3, themed “Notes for Now,” opens on Oct. 25 and runs until Jan. 25, 2015, providing enough time to check out the 61 featured artists from all over the world at spaces around town. While exciting, this art event is a lot to take in. We talked to Ylva Rouse, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs for Prospect New Orleans, on how to navigate this major art biennial.
The title of the biennial is “Notes for Now.” What does that theme mean to you? It speaks to the fact that it’s an exhibition of contemporary artists, both young and not so young, that through their artwork address current issues that preoccupy all of us at this time: globalism, immigration, race, ecology, urbanism, beauty and our place in this world and the universe as human beings.
What are some of the highlights of P3? “Basquiat and the Bayou,” an exhibition exploring the presence of the Mississippi Delta and its cultures in the work of Basquiat, will definitely be one of the highlights. Tavares Strachan’s neon light sculpture on a barge on the Mississippi – bringing people to the river that makes our city what it is. I would also highlight our Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans’ intention to ground contemporary arts practices in the history of modern art, with the presence of Paul Gauguin and Tarsila do Amaral, among others, at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Prospects made use of unique venues and mediums of exhibitions. What are some of the more interesting presentations this time around? As in the past, the exhibition will unfold throughout the city, bringing our visitors into the different neighborhoods — the Warehouse Arts District, Tremé, St. Claude, Gentilly, Bywater, the universities.
How do you recommend people best experience the event? Use our map and recommended routes in the P.3 brochure; include the wide range of exhibits by local artists that are participating in our ancillary P.3+ program that are along the route; and sign up for the P.3 Bike Tours, organized in partnership with BikeEasy. And always check in to our Visitor Center, located at the Contemporary Arts Center, and our website for updates on our multiple programs scheduled through the run of the exhibit.
For more information on Prospect.3, visit ProspectNewOrleans.org.