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Posted inArt

Turning a Beloved Novel into Art (Prospect 2 Spotlight)

NEW ORLEANS — Of all the stories about New Orleans, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the most universally beloved. So an artist who attempts to engage it in a different medium has their work cut out for them from the get-go: anyone who’s read Toole’s posthumously published comedic opus already has their own idea of how Ignatius J. Reilly and his world should be brought to life.

Posted inArt

Re-Kitschifying a New Orleans Post-modern Icon (Prospect 2 Spotlight)

NEW ORLEANS — The Piazza d’Italia generally isn’t high on many people’s lists of Things To See And Do In New Orleans; in fact, I’d guess that most of the tourists who stumble across it do so while getting lost on their way to or from the nearby Harrah’s casino or Hilton Riverfront. They probably no idea that this gaudy urban ensemble, designed by Charles Moore and opened in 1978, represents one of the seminal pieces of postmodern architecture in the country. In his Prospect 2 biennial piece, Francesco Vezzoli adds an extra layer of kitsch to New Orleans’ Piazza d’Italia with his “Portrait of Sophia Loren.”

Posted inArt

Do You Know What It Means To Dream About New Orleans?

By the ordinary way of reckoning such things, there are considerably fewer artists participating in this year’s Prospect.2 biennial in New Orleans than in the event’s first iteration three years ago. But if artist and provocateur William Pope.L’s piece for the exhibition turns out according to schedule, there will be a lot more artistic visions on view around New Orleans this fall than the smaller number of artists might lead you to expect.

Posted inArt

Crescent City, Signing Off

When Hyperallergic editor Hrag V. asked me to guest edit this site in his absence a few weeks ago and bring a little bit of the Crescent City to the Brooklyn-based blogazine scene, I thought it might be an uneasy fit: after all, as A.J. Liebling memorably said in “The Earl of Louisiana” (though perhaps most memorably in the intro to “A Confederacy of Dunces”), “New Orleans resembles Genoa or Marseilles, or Beirut or the Egyptian Alexandria more than it does New York.”

Posted inArt

Sea Changes: The Art Of Anastasia Pelias

The video opens with the sound of the tide, and a tight close-up of the artist bringing a stone from a shoreline to her mouth. She licks it slowly. The act, along with the sound of the sea, is both primal and sensual. The ritualized action is repeated, establishing a deep connection between the artist and the sea, as well as the viewer—it’s difficult not to imagine the sensation of the coolness of the smooth stone and the taste of salt in one’s mouth while watching it.

Posted inArt

A Geopsychic Tour of New Orleans

“These phenomenona, these wonders of New Orleans, are for the most part simply not explainable in terms of history and culture alone. There is obviously another force at work here, another system, a world of secret realities which is continuously and quietly in confrontation with our own.” In other words, folks: we’re not on Bourbon Street any more.