NEW ORLEANS – Prospect 2 isn’t just about the new or the conceptual or the overwrought: William Eggleston brings a pair of several decades-old works to his Prospect installation at the Old US Mint on the edge of the French Quarter, and together they offer the most satisfying viewing experience of anything I’ve seen so far in this edition of the biennial.
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.
Sophie Calle moves into New Orleans’ 1850 House for her Prospect 2 installation and brings dozens of objects and stories with her — with mixed results.
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.”
New Orleans is a city of excess: we eat more good food, show more skin (at least during Carnival season), and have more fun than just about any other city in the United States, or anywhere. And when the Prospect.1 art biennial rolled into town in the fall of 2008, we could add “see more great art” to that list as well. Hopes were high that the followup would match or even exceed the scope and ambition of curator Dan Cameron’s first installment (81 artists! 39 countries! 22 venues!). But it’s not 2008 any more, and Prospect New Orleans has become subject to the New Austerity too.