December 16, 2011

Report #2 from P.2: DeDeaux, CAC, Calle, NOMA, O'Grady, the Old Mint, & Wojtasik

As in Prospect.1, the works included in Prospect.2 were scattered among venues all over New Orleans, this time some 20 of them.

And as in P.1, the work was first-rate. There was substantially less of it this time (but still far more than I could see in three days, although I found the amount of empty space at the CAC rather striking); and what there was seemed heavily weighted toward U.S.-based and esp. local artists – presumably mainly because of the reported financial difficulties.

That said, some of my favorite works were made by New Orleans-based artists.

I especially enjoyed: (1) the Music Box (see my previous post here); (2) the exhibition organized by John Otte at The Pearl (more on that soon); (3) Dawn DeDeaux's The Goddess Fortuna and Her Dunces in an Effort to Make Sense of It All (2011) (see visuals starting here), based on John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces and located in and around one of the French Quarter's oldest courtyard mansions; (4) Jonas Dahlberg's single-channel video, Macbeth (2010) (see here and visuals starting here; according to a 2011 source, Dahlberg makes his work using architectural models; I found it impossible to tell if that were the case in this piece); and (5) the documentation of Lorraine O'Grady's 1983 relational performance (yeah, it's been going on at least that long), Art Is . . . .

The first photo in this post captures a moment in O'Grady's performance (courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY). It's somewhat misleading, in that, as I understand, the performers were mostly using the golden frames to make the onlookers into "art," not just themselves. There was also a big parade float with a giant golden frame, which made art out of large chunks of the whole scene.

The second photo shows William Eggleston's Untitled (From The Seventies: Volume Two), circa 1970's (courtesy Cheim & Read, New York) (more visuals of Eggleston's works in the biennial start here).

The third shows Paweł Wojtasik's Below Sea Level (Uncle Lionel Batiste and Benny Jones in Front of Benny’s FEMA Trailer) (2009-2011) (image from the biennial press kit); the photo relates to a ca. 360º-surround installation by the artist showing various scenes from contemporary New Orleans (see visuals starting here).

More pics and vidis of works by various artists here (including some from Good Children Gallery – I'm not sure this show was officially part of P.2, but it included works by several P.2 artists).

I unfortunately could not be in New Orleans to see performances by two of my favorite new media artists, William Pope.L (see also my post here) and R. Luke DeBois (see also my post here). And although the truck used in William Pope.L's performance was still on exhibit, disappointingly, the "magic lantern" slide show that was supposed to take up its back panel wasn't working. You can find video interviews with Pope.L and DuBois about their projects at

As you might expect, I found the video art most exciting. There was a fair amount, and I liked a lot of it; but I expect to include more discussion of the video art in a forthcoming post on the exhibition at The Pearl.

Prospect.2 runs through January 29. The hours, generally, are Wed. - Sun., 11am - 4pm.

This is the second of three reports from Prospect.2 New Orleans; for the others, click on the "Prospect.2" label below this post.

UPDATE: If you clicked through my visuals at the link above, you may have noticed those of Robert Tannen's installation, Art by Committee, starting here. In this piece, visitors were invited to contribute to murals being painted on huge swaths of fabric hung on the interior walls of the Art House on the Levee, which swaths were replaced whenever full so as to make space for more contributions. I just got word that the resulting murals will be exhibited at Ideal Auto Repair Warehouse, 422 Girod St. in New Orleans, opening Sat., Jan. 14, 6 - 9PM. Let me know if you spot my contribution.

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