Prospect.3: Notes for Now (P.3) is an international contemporary art biennial. P.3 features the work of 58 artists selected by Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans in 18 venues located throughout New Orleans.

Meet The Artists of Prospect.3: Notes for Now

Zarouhie Abdalian
USA (New Orleans)
New Orleans African American Museum

Born in New Orleans, Zarouhie Abdalian creates installations, often in the public arena, that respond to the specific attributes of a given location, architectural setting, or social landscape. Using inconspicuous, unassuming, or quotidian materials to alter the environment, she points to the the social dimensions of space and the dynamics established between spectators and sites. The artist employs a near-invisible vernacular to address issues of dislocation, unrest, and reflectivity. For P.3, Abdalian responds to the built environment of the New Orleans African American Museum, which includes historic shotgun houses, the Passebon Cottage and the materials of its felled slave quarters, and grounds. Abdalian's installation engages with the historical terms and materials of this setting.

Terry Adkins
USA
Dillard University

To pay tribute to Terry Adkins who recently passed away, P.3 invites the public to view Ezekiel Double Drums and Ezekiel Wheel, both commissioned by Dillard University, a historically black college, in 2009. The two works stem from W.E.B. DuBois’s timeless philosophical work, The Souls of Black Folk, wherein the African American philosopher put forward the fundamental concept of double consciousness. This concept of “twoness” was used by the artist to refer to two warring yet parallel ideals: the contemporary and the traditional, represented by the two wheels placed together as one. For Adkins, this “twoness” also invokes ideas of time, earth, and the orbit of celestial bodies. The wheel has 28 spokes, which mark the 28 days in a lunar cycle. “In that sense,” said Adkins in an interview, “It marks time in heaven.”

Manal AlDowayan
SAUDI ARABIA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

In her series If I forget you don’t forget me, Manal AlDowayan bridges experiences across generations and throughout Saudi Arabian history. Her video interviews and photographic still lives frame mementos that evoke memories of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) where the artist once worked. In 1938, the discovery of oil brought improvements to the country’s infrastructure and more opportunities for young Saudis; “an era of dreaming, and seeing those dreams come true.” While the past and its hopes can never be recaptured and hopes for the future have fallen by the wayside, AlDowayan suggests that the resonant power of objects and moments can be captured and channeled by present and future generations to shape Saudi Arabia for the better.

Tarsila do Amaral
BRAZIL
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Modernism Gallery)

Tarsila do Amaral’s work, as it relates to the creation of a hybridized New World aesthetic, is a precedent and touchstone for P.3. Her extensive study in Paris with Fernand Léger is evidenced in her use of geometric forms and color-blocking, while her subject matter—the brown faces, bodies, and myths of her country—insists on the celebration, and what could perhaps be seen as the autoexoticization, of Brazilian “otherness.” Tarsila once stated that she wanted to be the painter of Brazil, and with early works like A Negra (1923) and Anjos (1924), she began to define this trajectory. Amaral inspired the formation of the Movimento Antropofágico (Cannibalist Movement), a revision of the nationalist cry of the 20th century that called for the triumphant internalization of all elements of one’s heritage—indigenous, foreign, and colonial—beyond the typical aspirations toward the purely European.

Firelei Báez
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

Firelei Báez generates bold images of full-figured women with thick hips who carry more than physical weight on their persons, which are embellished and collaged with striking patterns. Her work for P.3 explores the tignon, a headscarf worn, under penalty of law, by women of color in Louisiana. In 1785, Governor Miró passed a sumptuary law enforcing “appropriate” public dress amongst women of color, free and enslaved. In an attempt to lessen their attractiveness to white men, these women were forced to cover their voluptuous hair, which was declared scandalous, and to refrain from "excessive attention to dress". Yet the law backfired; wrapping the crowns of their heads in sumptuous fabrics and drawing influence from the West African gélé, women of color transformed this object of shame into one of revolutionary beauty, pride, and emulation. The pieces on view evoke not only the subversive beauty of the tignon but also the many perpetual revolutions influenced by these women's brave use of their only available cultural capital.

Shigeru Ban
JAPAN
Meet the Artist
Longue Vue houses & Gardens

Pritzker Architecture Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban constructs innovative temporary structures for survivors of natural disasters: from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; to the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand; and the 2014 typhoon in Cebu, Philippines. In the wake of a natural disaster, when the architectural skin of the human environment is unexpectedly breached, the rawness of human existence is exposed and threatened. Time is of the essence, yet often the brute functionality of temporary relief structures, such as the FEMA trailers deployed after Katrina, deepen the physical and psychological precariousness of the post-disaster epoch. His temporary humanitarian shelters crafted from everyday materials, including paper tubes, plastic tarps, and sheets, are solid yet flexible, functional yet inspirational, rapidly fabricated yet culturally sensitive, inexpensive yet environmentally sensitive. They offer reconciliation with the past while preparing a community to embrace the future.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
USA
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
(fifth floor, main)

Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, New York to a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother in 1960, examined the psychological space formed by the African diaspora in his artwork. Deeply interested, and invested, in Afro-Atlantic culture, Basquiat’s paintings are peppered with references to the history and culture of this region. Basquiat, who never graduated from high school, grew up going to the Brooklyn Museum regularly. He taught himself the history of art. His work will be shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art where, together with the work by Singleton, Andrews and Calhoun and McCormick’s work, it brings up an important question today: What is art and who is considered an artist? Basquiat never finished an MFA program, let alone any college. He studied art at the museum. Like Herbert Singleton, the deceased New Orleans artist who honed his skills in the notorious prison system of Louisiana or like countless others who found diverse means of learning and building artistic skills, Basquiat offers a case study in how simple modes of address in contemporary art mask complex motivations and works of art. In addition to diverse forms of art from allover the South, The Ogden has an important collection of works by self-taught and visionary artists that will be seen with the work presented by P.3.

Zarina Bhimji
UGANDA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

In her film installations, Zarina Bhimji explores the social, political, and psychological effects of colonialism by pointing her lens at its visual history and the aesthetic remnants of the era. For Waiting, her installation for P.3, Bhimji visited sisal-processing factories near Mombasa, Kenya, some of which date back to colonial times. Introduced by the Germans to their colonies in East Africa in the 1890s for use in rope, cord, sacks, and carpets, sisal continues to be grown on plantations today. The film captures the unlikely beauty of the architecture, the bright, hot light, and the visceral, quasi-paralyzing atmosphere. These elements, together with minute camera movements, meditations on color, and sensitivity to details of the walls and utensils, focus the viewer’s gaze on the decadence of materiality.

McArthur Binion
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

McArthur Binion creates paintings that are replete with color and textural vibrancy and exhibit a subtlety of form. Through repeated layers of Staonal crayon, which is typically used for industrial markings, Binion builds slow deposits of line, texture, and form. The allusion to the history of labor in America is deliberate. Binion culls information from his early childhood and time spent picking cotton on his family farm, juxtaposing it with the vernacular of painting. He uses the languages of abstraction and modernism as tools to explore his biography and identity, expanding the discourse surrounding nonfigurative painting. Each mark is a record and each painting a document, its surface a rich accumulation of material and memory.

Douglas Bourgeois
USA (New Orleans)
Meet the Artist
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

Employing a visual vocabulary of mythological, religious, and pop-culture sources, Douglas Bourgeois explores human fears, dreams, and obsessions. His remarkably detailed panel paintings, rendered in vibrant colors, touch upon issues of domestic violence, poverty, and racial injustice. He creates worlds of magical realism in which icons of rock and roll music and religion intermingle, reflecting the influence of his Catholic upbringing during the explosion of the rebellious musical genre.

Mohamed Bourouissa
ALGERIA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

Mohamed Bourouissa creates poetic tableaux that deconstruct mass-media representations of life in inner-city communities. Deftly juxtaposing the “grand narratives” of nineteenth-century history painting with elements of urban theater, Bourouissa narrates the compositions of Delacroix and Gericault through the black and brown bodies of African and Arab descent. Périphérique, featured here in part, was created after incidents of civil unrest in the banlieues (suburbs) of Paris in 2005. These staged scenes of reportage empower their subjects, highlighting their suppression and self-emancipation through documentation via vernacular tools like cell-phone cameras.

Frederick J. Brown
USA
Meet the Artist
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Great Hall)

Frederick James Brown was an American artist whose paintings elaborated upon his interest in African American and Native American culture and music, folk art, European religious art, contemporary abstract expressionism, and figuration. Born in Georgia and raised on the South side of Chicago, Brown worked as an artist in New York in the 1970s and 80s. His intensely colored oil portraits and mixed media drawings of jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, writers such as Tennessee Williams, folk heroes such as John Henry and Geronimo, and religious figures comprise the majority of his oeuvre. Through these images, Brown expressed his passions, both sacred and secular, and shared his knowledge of the diverse cultural history of the United States.

Huguette Caland
LEBANON
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Modern & Contemporary Galleries)

Huguette Caland’s series of pacifying, surrealistic body landscapes were born of a moment of physical displacement during the construction of her studio in the 1970s. Having less room to work, Caland reduced the scale of her canvases and drew “faces and places from the past” easily out of the reduced-scale wood panels upon which she worked. Exemplifying the playful and seductive nature of her oeuvre, these anthropomorphic landscapes exude the sensuality of the human form simplified to voluptuous hills peaked with unbridled expressivity.

Keith Calhoun
USA (New Orleans)
Meet the artist
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
(fourth floor, photography gallery)

Focusing on the lives of incarcerated men at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Keith Calhoun’s and Chandra McCormick’s striking photographs probe the hidden reality of our institutions of crime and punishment. These images of forced labor under the guns of men on horseback, humble art fairs, spectacular rodeos, and somber family visits, all within the prison walls, offer an attempt to restore visibility and humanity to a population marginalized from the national conversation. This body of work, which began in the early 1980s and continues today, serves as historical record and chronicle of African-American daily life on “The Farm”—a modern-day plantation (the 13th Amendment did abolish slavery, yet made an exception for prisons) where the incarcerated are “farmed out” to the wardens of neighboring penitentiaries and whose crop yields fill America’s well-stocked refrigerators.

Mary Ellen Carroll
USA
Meet the Artist
AIA New Orleans

With Public Utility 2.0, Mary Ellen Carroll approaches public policy as material, routing Wi-Fi signals along television wavelengths to produce “Super Wi-Fi”—free, public networks with a span of several kilometers. The field of access will overlay Interstate 10, running through the Seventh Ward (infamously devastated in the 1970s by the highway’s construction), into New Orleans East, and out to the floodplains, linking sectors of the city neglected by private Internet providers because of a perceived lack of economic incentive. Full implementation of the technology will require fine policy craftsmanship and the preemption of ALEC-sponsored legislation to auction public airspace to private bidders.

Ed Clark
USA (New Orleans)
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Modern & Contemporary Galleries)

It is easy to be seduced by the energy of Ed Clark’s brushwork. His signature technique is to lay his canvas on the floor and move paint across the surface with a push broom, creating wide pathways of striated paint. Paint itself, and its unpredictable behavior, is central to the visual logic of Clark’s abstraction. Unlike the intensely detailed and studied compositions of many contemporary abstract painters, Clark’s paintings betray his partial dependence on chance. Looking at New Orleans Series #4 (2012), one can visualize the light pink and pale purple paints launching off the canvas by Clark’s broom. Clark’s canvases stand out as original statements of unwavering conviction. His works do not reprise modernist painting’s concern with medium specificity, because such considerations have been a constant in his practice since the mid-1950s.

Thomas Joshua Cooper
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

For Thomas Joshua Cooper, the creation of an image is as much about the internal experience of knowing a place as the external experience of seeing it. Cooper’s process involves time-intensive sojourns during which he engages the socio-geological histories of the land, “building” his photographs slowly and intently. For the series exhibited here, Drowned Trees—A Mississippi River Tree Line (2010/14), the artist traveled along the country’s longest north-south waterway, encountering points of entry at the river’s mouths; points of “discovery” by European colonists; and points of departure, such as the Trail of Tears walked by Native Americans exiled by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. As the land meets the water in his photographs, so do the spirits of the region rise to the surface, captured in long exposures through Cooper’s 1898 Agfa box camera.

William Cordova
PERU
Dillard University

William Cordova’s site-responsive work for P.3 draws upon indigenous cultures and diasporic retentions in the Americas, official and unofficial histories, and living memorials that remember those histories. A statue of Robert E. Lee sits high above a traffic circle in New Orleans while a local eight-piece brass band performs on the rooftop of the former Louisiana ArtWorks building, facing the Confederate general. A second-line procession weaves through the city’s wards. Remnants of makeshift memorials endure in front of the mausoleums that mark the city’s terrain as strolling tribes of Mardi Gras Indians in intricate, hand-sewn costumes refuse to “bow down,” enlivening the streets and overlooked spaces with a blend of the African, Native American, and African American traditions that compose the city’s history.

Liu Ding
CHINA
The Exchange Gallery

Liu Ding teases art out of social exchange. He draws attention to pressing societal questions: how our identities are manufactured; how we place value in objects or gestures that we call art; and how audience, context, and participation affect the creation of value. Inspired by the “No Loitering” signs that confronted Ding as he explored the New Orleans urban landscape—a prohibition never previously encountered on his travels through Europe and Asia—Ding is orchestrating a series of unannounced performances in four different New Orleans neighborhoods to tease out the valuation and limitations of social exchange in a society that both values public commiseration and fears the lingering stranger.

Monir Farmanfarmaian
IRAN
Newcomb Art Gallery

Monir Farmanfarmaian has created work over the past fifty years that reflects the dichotomous nature of her two homes: Iran and New York City, and the dualities of her successes and devastations (during Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1970s, most of her work was confiscated or destroyed). Her sculptural mosaics, featured here, marry traditional Persian design motifs with elements of Western modernism, combining mirrored pieces and reverse painting on glass in striking geometric frameworks. The glass and mirrors she uses put the world’s reflection front and center, but their arrangements also explore potentially mathematical concepts of infinity, bursting with an internal light that enhances their own physicality.

Andrea Fraser
USA
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Auditorium)
Newcomb Art Gallery

Andrea Fraser‘s site-specific and research-based practice explores the motivations that drive artists, collectors, dealers, corporate sponsors, trustees, and the general public to engage with art. Um Monumento às Fantasias Descartadas (A Monument to Discarded Fantasies) memorializes the residue of fantasies that have been shed upon their bearers’ re-entry into the workaday world. Inspired by a visit to the (in)famous Carnival, Fraser amassed a mountain of Carnival costumes found on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, abandoned in disregard or, perhaps, in moments of rapture. The vibrant colors, feathers, masks, shoes, sequins, and glitter are swept up in a pile, jubilant with a twinge of despair, like so many autumn leaves, or so much trash. Exuberant and decadent, it presents the artist’s characteristic blend of humor and seriousness, celebration and critique.

Charles Gaines
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

Skybox I contains the fragility of the human condition and the infinitude of existence within three LED panels. The panes are emblazoned with political texts on oppression and colonialism, freedom and democracy by radical thinkers across nations and eras: Gerrard Winstanley (England, 1609– 1676), Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal, 1906–2001), Frantz Fanon (Martinique/ Algeria, 1925–1961), and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam, 1890–1969). Over 30,000 holes laser cut into the surface allow the light contained within to pour forth, emulating a star-filled night sky. Gradually, as one reads these words of timeless wisdom, the texts begin to fade and disappear. Our philosophical anchors recede and we are left, unmoored, to contemplate this even more eternal and unknowable pool of knowledge, in the face of which human intelligence bows down.

Theaster Gates
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(first floor)

Theaster Gates rearranges the detritus of material culture into environments, objects, and spaces of renewed value. Gates is part of a wider trajectory of artists who use the physical and social manifestations of the built environment as platforms for critical inquiry, provoking dialogue around notions of equity, inclusion, and land use. For P.3, Gates presents works of art that are documents of intensive histories and processes. Civil Tapestries repurposes the fire hoses once used by the police as weapons against Civil Rights activists, weaving their charged histories into pure materiality. Tar Paintings are the result of an apprenticeship with his father, whose skill with the steaming, viscous material, developed through his years as a roofer, has been repurposed as art.

Paul Gauguin
FRANCE
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Impressionism Gallery)

P.3 aspires to take the pulse of the current moment, and to do so in a way that highlights its specific location. But we live in an interconnected world, and we want to hear the world, and to speak out in turn. Born of a Peruvian mother, Gauguin “dreamed of returning to a civilization unsullied by industrialization and urban problems.” A singular painting on glass doors in the collection of the New Orleans Museum Art, Rupe Tahiti (literally, “Hurrah, Tahiti!”), was purportedly made to keep out the prying eyes of the artist’s French-born landlady. It dates to his first sojourn in Tahiti (1891–93). Here, therefore, is the beginning of his search—or rather, a new beginning, as he had already tried Martinique, in 1887. The scenes of women in foliage are typical of Gauguin’s work of the period, as Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri), an 1891 painting also on view, makes clear.

Jeffrey Gibson
USA
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Modern & Contemporary Galleries)

In 1941, months before the U.S. entered World War II, the Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted an exhibition titled “Indian Art of the United States,” positing an expanded definition of modern art. Such openness subsided with the onset of the war, just as quickly as it had emerged. Jeffrey Gibson’s oeuvre imagines where this dialogue may have led if advancements in cultural theory had continued, and these aesthetic and conceptual histories had perhaps even merged. A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Gibson has long confronted Native American stereotypes, which manifest in mass-produced “Indian” fabrics and crafts. For Gibson, such clichés provide strategies for a critique of cultural valuation; he re-appropriates these references, inventing informal, abstract languages for hybrid painted sculptures that are equally influenced by the manifold communities—Native, queer, urban, local, global—of which he is a part.

Piero Golia
ITALY
Isaac Delgado Art Gallery

Elements of humor, interference, and myth-making characterize Piero Golia’s varied artistic practice. He has climbed up a palm tree and stayed there until a collector agreed to buy the work; rowed across the Adriatic Sea, becoming the first illegal Italian immigrant to Albania; and sold bronze maquettes of his fictionalized and nonexistent studio. For Prospect.3, Golia is collaborating with Delgado university students to realize a vital stage of his ongoing project, The Comedy of Craft (copying the nose of George Washington): “Making the mold.” Together, the group is constructing a life-size mold of George Washington’s nose as depicted on Mount Rushmore. Thus, with a tongue-in-cheek impetus to disrupt the accepted order of things, Golia continues to challenge the economy of the art world by interlacing it with narratives of bold absurdity.

Camille Henrot
FRANCE
Longue Vue houses & Gardens

Grosse Fatigue (Dead Tired) reveals our society’s obsessive desire to classify and preserve in a digital/analog mash-up of dead/alive. It is the culmination of a two-month residency at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., during which the artist probed the depths of the storerooms, filming as the staff unwrapped objects of curiosity. Cascading streams of information oscillate wildly in the form of browser windows, search engine results, video clips, and still photographs of generic computer desktops, taxidermied birds, and various skeletons, all overlaid with a human voice narrating a series of creation myths. When faced with the inevitable extinction of either a frog or the iPhone on which it sits, we are hard pressed to tell which will outlive the other.

Lonnie Holley
USA
Xavier University

Using found materials sourced locally in relation to their ultimate sites of display, Lonnie Holley creates sculptures and installations that are intensely personal and otherworldly in scope, touching on subjects ranging from tributes to his mother and other women in his family, to religion, and global politics. Holley’s first works were carved headstones erected in memory of his nieces who died in a house fire, which led to other carvings that would eventually be incorporated in the grand creations he constructed in his yard. His constructions are formed of miscellaneous materials and detritus—including abandoned shoes, animal bones, oil drums, plastic flowers, suitcases, and old furniture—found on his family’s property and in the surrounding areas. Charged with intent, these uncanny objects are more than art-- they are powerful relics.

Pieter Hugo
SOUTH AFRICA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

The films of Nollywood—Nigeria’s film industry—are shot with inexpensive, accessible technology, replete with local lore, and are produced without funding from the West: a fine medium for expressing Nigerian self-consciousness. Yet removed from local context they become fetishized by the Western gaze. Pieter Hugo’s staged Nollywood scenes anticipate and exploit this gaze of the international art public, which expects (and desires?) imagery from the Dark Continent to provoke a confrontation with the uncanny. In the phantasmagoria of the Westerner who views Nigeria obliquely—somewhere between sensationalist news à la “Bring Back Our Girls” and Nollywood films—the absurd and horrific are indigenous to the African cultural landscape. Hugo’s photography cultivates this hybrid consciousness, conjuring a haunting encounter that is both imaginary and real, Nigerian and Other.

Yun-Fei Ji
CHINA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(Emerge Gallery, first floor)

Using the ancient art form of ink and mineral pigment on silk and paper, Yun-Fei Ji addresses changing climates, social and geological, using the ancient political forum of the scroll. In 2002, Ji made his first reference to the theme of mass displacement and environmental cataclysm in Three Gorges Dam Migration, a series of woodblock-printed hand scrolls that depict the flooding and social upheaval caused by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China. This study of humankind’s futile endeavor to dominate nature and the escalating toll on life and environment is continued in The Peach Blossom, his work for P.3.

Remy Jungerman
SURINAME
Joan Mitchell Center Studios

Afro-Surinamese spirituality, or Winti, has become an increasingly dominant theme in the sculptures of Remy Jungerman, who asserts the significance of his Maroon heritage and whose work reflects a resistance and liberation ideology that works in contrast to oft-employed assimilationist tactics. The artist strikingly indulges indigo as both a hue and a mood. The penetrating, enchanting color is predominant in the ritual cloth of the Maroons, often infused with white polka dots or the intersecting white lines that compose their characteristic plaid. His manipulation of navy blue, white, and red is a simultaneous nod to both the twentieth-century Dutch De Stijl movement and diasporic African retention.

Glenn Kaino
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

For Prospect.3, Kaino will premiere a work called Tank, produced in collaboration with Grand Arts, Kansas City, where it will travel following the Biennial. Tank is a series of aquariums in which fragments of an armored tank, cast in clear resin, are submerged, referencing the illegal military tactic of using the oceans as a dumping site for decommissioned gear, polluting fragile ecosystems and decimating endangered coral reefs. Here, the inert surfaces are primed as assembled battlefields. Human militants have been replaced with variant species of coral, which fight to dominate territory. Acts of empire are stripped bare, reduced to the biotic and primal, emptied of ideology. Viewers are transformed into spectators and witnesses in a theater of war that performs itself, blindly, as we dwell on the fate of life sustained, threatened, or expended, even rendered poetic and beautiful. The system remains trapped in a recursive formula until we emancipate our vision from the glass walls that contain it.

Lucia Koch
BRAZIL
Meet the Artist
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(first floor)

Lucia Koch intervenes in the architecture of our surroundings, constructing parameters that enable the body to slow down, observe, process, and experience the structural and ambient elements of the chosen site. For Mood Disorder, Koch has painted directly onto Plexiglas and glass, employing her signature color gradients and light filters to facilitate new sensorial experiences. The work acts as a porous skin that filters light and color onto the urban landscape and permits external elements to permeate the gallery. With these interventions, the space, Koch says, is corrected, or elevated to its appropriate potential. The window as divisional border is repositioned as a transitional, in-between, yet autonomous space; a place to locate oneself and not merely look through between experiences.

Hew Locke
UNITED KINGDOM
Newcomb Art Gallery

Hew Locke explores recurrent themes of power, royalty, and the performance of nationhood with large-scale installations populated by the marauding deities, tyrants, fantastical creatures, and forgotten figures that proliferate in postcolonial cultural and political spheres. The Nameless, featured here, taps into the pulse of history in the streets and consciousness of New Orleans: the raucous parades and costumed krewes of Mardi Gras, which include a king, queen, and stable of colonial characters, as well as the legacy of the second line funeral rite that is a palpable cornerstone of the Creole cultural fabric.

Los Jaichackers
Julio Cesar Morales
MEXICO
Eamon Ore- Girón  
USA
Joan Mitchell Center Studios

Los Jaichackers (Spanglish for “hijackers”) was formed by two artists in search of the global DNA of the underground club scene. To seize, divert, or appropriate something while it is in transit—the act, or art, of hijacking—is a metaphor for the collisions between dominant and migrant cultures that fly under the radar, often by design. Subterranean Homesick Cumbia is the videographic keepsake of the artists’ journey to trace the mythological birth of Cumbia music, the first Latin American hybrid musical form. In the origin myth, a German merchant ship crashed upon the shores of Colombia, spilling its cargo of accordions. These instruments were retrieved by local communities of free people of color and incorporated into their musical tradition to form a new vernacular sound. The relationship of the accordion to the landscape tells the story of the unstriated flow of social exchange and the unpredictable ways in which we engage with our environment.

Sophie T. Lvoff
USA (New Orleans)
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

Sophie T. Lvoff moved from New York to New Orleans in 2009, drawn to the romantic South masterfully documented by such photographers as Walker Evans and William Eggleston. While the light, color palette, and prominence of tradition in the region are now the foundation of her practice, she has become equally aware of the threats to this beauty. From both environmental and sociological perspectives, and further influenced by the political and social atmosphere, Lvoff situates her practice as a “truthful” display of the South, beyond its celebrations and devastations. Lvoff documents invasive vines, blighted homes, and tattered streets. However, it is the dynamic colors of the sky, burgeoning foliage, and historic buildings in their fecund yet tragic beauty that stays with the viewer.

Kerry James Marshall
USA
Ashé Cultural Arts Center

Kerry James Marshall’s practice mines history and probes sociopolitical issues inherent in the American experience. Marshall paints blackness, revealing and exalting those who have too often been absent from what the artist once called the “image bank” of art history. Marshall’s site-specific window installation for P.3 directly addresses this “image bank”, framing, magnifying, and multiplying the African art collection of Ashé Cultural Arts Center with gold-mirrored Plexiglas. The effect is the visually glamorized and Afro-Futurized (re)integration of the surrounding historically black neighborhood with these signifiers of African Diaspora tradition: to paraphrase Dr. King, the moral arc of the universe is long and it unites the community with its heirs and keepers.

Chandra McCormick
USA (New Orleans)
Meet the Artist
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
(fourth floor, photography gallery)

Focusing on the lives of incarcerated men at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Keith Calhoun’s and Chandra McCormick’s striking photographs probe the hidden reality of our institutions of crime and punishment. These images of forced labor under the guns of men on horseback, humble art fairs, spectacular rodeos, and somber family visits, all within the prison walls, offer an attempt to restore visibility and humanity to a population marginalized from the national conversation. This body of work, which began in the early 1980s and continues today, serves as historical record and chronicle of African-American daily life on “The Farm”—a modern-day plantation (the 13th Amendment did abolish slavery, yet made an exception for prisons) where the incarcerated are “farmed out” to the wardens of neighboring penitentiaries and whose crop yields fill America’s well-stocked refrigerators.

Tameka Norris
USA (NEW ORLEANS)
with Garrett Bradley
USA (NEW ORLEANS)
May Gallery & Residency

Tameka Norris’s four-channel film installation, Meka Jean: How She Got Good, reflects the unique landscape of New Orleans. In the film, Meka Jean, Norris’s alter ego, Norris’s immediate family, and the city of New Orleans reflect each other through corresponding experiences of rapid growth—actual and fictional—represented by encounters with rising real-estate prices and individual fame, a widening economic gap, revitalization efforts, and the impulse to instigate social change. Norris has produced an ambitious film that explores issues of race, gentrification, self-improvement, and the language of change—thematic elements that exist beyond the film and its complex narrative, opening out onto the landscape of contemporary New Orleans.

Akosua Adoma Owusu
USA
Joan Mitchell Center Studios

In response to W. E. B. Du Bois’s notion of double consciousness, “this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others . . . an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings,” Akosua Adoma Owusu contends that the African immigrant to the United States has a triple consciousness. While he or she is often grouped and identified with African Americans by virtue of their shared skin color and continental ancestry, the African immigrant occupies a unique socio-cultural position. Kwaku Ananse (2013), featured here, tells the story of a young woman living abroad who returns to her native Ghana to attend the funeral of her estranged father, played by the eminent Ghanaian musician Koo Nimo. In a search to locate her identity, the protagonist retreats into the jungle, performing mythologies and contradictions that embody the recollection and experience of African culture in an African American context.

Ebony G. Patterson
JAMAICA
Newcomb Art Gallery

In a new body of work for P.3, Ebony G. Patterson continues her exploration of Jamaican dancehall culture as a space for “hardcore” masculine posturing and the appropriation of self-fashioning techniques typically conceived of as feminine. The masquerading and gender fluidity that characterizes the laissez-faire spirit of Carnival is formalized into identity. Transforming and marking their bodies to evoke their ideals of masculinity, young black men pluck their eyebrows to delicate bows and adorn themselves with flamboyant jewelry. In Patterson’s portraits, flesh has been treated as a surface for androgynous embellishment, bedazzled in glitter, floral wallpaper, photo fragments, stenciling, and fabric adornments, the ghostly grey of bleached brown faces floating hauntingly amongst the flora.

Hayal Pozanti
TURKEY
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

Hayal Pozanti’s paintings embody a pure abstraction but are in fact based on systematic explorations of technology and visual language systems. With a standardized set of characters that she reformats in each work, Pozanti experiments with shape, movement, and spatial dynamics to forge delicate hybrids of organic and industrial shapes stretching across canvases that fit the 4:3 ratio of an iPhone screen and the 612-pixel square of the Instagram image. The dynamic nature of her combined forms references elements in the work of both the living American abstract painter Shirley Jaffe and the painter and early commercial photographer Charles Sheeler, whose imagery often focused on industrial machine components. Pozanti’s compositions, like those of Jaffe and Sheeler, balance the slight humor of the anatomical with the deliberate elegance of the mechanical.

The Propeller Group
Phunam
VIETNAM
Matt Lucero
USA
Tuan Andrew Nguyen
VIETNAM
with Christopher Myers
USA
Uno St. Claude Art Gallery

The Propeller Group and Christopher Myers, based between New York City, Los Angeles and Saigon, have encapsulated the elusive butterfly effect — the theory of "nonlocality” whereby two distinct phenomena affect one another across a vast expanse of space and time. The film, The Living Need Light, And The Dead Need Music, a phrase taken from a Vietnamese proverb, documents the funeral tradition of Saigon from the vantage of New Orleans: two cities, two cultures, mirroring each other from worlds apart. A cast of spiritual mediums, professional criers, and musicians guides mourners through a euphoric public ritual; their costumes and instruments are arranged here in a “shrine”. “One of the gifts of the Global South,” the artists say, is “this ability to be many things, many places at once.” Such a feat may seem absurd — but that’s part of the magic and the Einsteinian science: here, distance collapses to reveal “otherness” as no more than an optical illusion.

Pushpamala N.
INDIA
with Clare ARNI
GREAT BRITAIN
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

Pushpamala N. has subverted dominant media paradigms throughout her career as a photographer, video artist, sculptor, writer, curator, and theorist. In the collaborative series Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs (2000–2004), she and English-born photographer Clare Arni perform for the still camera, embodying ideals projected by representations in the spiritual canon, documentary photography, and popular culture. Tracing the connections between archetypes, Native Women makes visible the lines of flight between the colonial gaze and the patriarchal one, which have designed oppressive ideals of femininity that enjoy continued traction in the epoch of globalized neoliberalism. Pushpamala N. casts herself in each role; the reclamation of the source material becomes an act of self-possession over her image and body.

Joe Ray
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

Joe Ray’s practice shatters stereotypical modes of representation by juxtaposing, subverting, and repositioning cultural symbols: spades, crosses, textiles, masks, and the American flag. The works presented at P.3 were realized in 1993, one year after the Los Angeles riots, which were sparked by the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers for assault and excessive force against Rodney King. The subsequent trials and tribulations revealed the extent to which American society remains trapped in essentialist ways of imagining the “Other”.

Will Ryman
USA
Meet the Artist
City Park

The New York–based sculptor Will Ryman looks to the natural world as a theatrical set. In 2011, on the Park Avenue Mall in Midtown Manhattan, he installed forty massive fiberglass-and-steel roses. For P.3, Ryman again explores this most fickle of flora, placing the rose sculpture Icon in New Orleans’s City Park. The delicate petals enmeshed by intimidating thorns speaks to the world-wary sentiments of its entangled environs: City Park, formerly the Allard Plantation, was once New Orleans’s most popular site for duels; on the edge of the park sits Holt Cemetery, a graveyard for the indigent, dotted with humble memorials made of scraps of wood, PVC pipe, and other discarded materials. Ryman’s rose sculptures contain a paradox, balancing an emblem of love with its sultry undertones.

Analia Saban
ARGENTINA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(throughout)

Analia Saban challenges perceived boundaries between artistic disciplines as well as the conception of painting as a singular work or choreographed set of actions. With subtle and playful irony, she responds to historical tropes such as action painting, the readymade, and the modernist canon by experimenting with history, language, and material. Using raw canvas, acrylic, oil, and crayon, Saban builds up the surface of her canvases, expressing painting in a third dimension. In some works, the canvas becomes a vessel for holding paint, in others the paint acts as membrane or skin. In yet others, the canvas is the host for an external installation—paint has been applied to the surface, removed, and repurposed. This oscillation between tearing down and building up gifts new life to forgotten structures.

Lisa Sigal
USA
Meet the Artist
The Exchange Gallery (throughout)

Home Court Crawl, Sigal’s project for P.3, is a sprawling script inscribed on vacant houses, across four distinct neighborhoods in New Orleans. Though each of these houses has its own story, urban blight remains a mute emblem of the social politics plaguing many of our historic cities. Sigal’s installation of texts from playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays (2002–3), returns voice to abandoned architecture and urges neighbors to re-see and remember the mnemonic, and emotional, and social value that that still lingers, unseen, among the broken structures.

Gary Simmons
USA
Tremé Market Branch

Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark is a sculptural installation intended for live music performances, which may make use of the sculpture as their players choose. The stage and speakers are left in place at the completion of each performance, thereby leaving a trace, or reminder of absence, of the event. The "Black Arc" is a reference to Lee "Scratch" Perry's original studio, the home of Dub music. Simmons’s work insists on the impermanence of our realities, our relationships to other people, the spaces we inhabit, and even ourselves. Although it is elegiac, Simmons’s work isn’t exactly sweet. He moves beyond simple nostalgia, reminding us of what has passed, what will soon be lost, and what may come to be.

Herbert Singleton
USA (New Orleans)
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
(fifth floor, Outsider Gallery)

An accomplished carpenter, Herbert Singleton carved using only the mallet and chisel: staff totems of cypress limbs for Hoodooists and Mardi Gras Indians, self-protection canes of oak pick-ax handles for gangsters and buggy drivers, and porch stools out of stumps. Drawing upon the Ogden Museum’s own collection in addition to a loan from collector Gordon W. Bailey, this selection of work by Herbert Singleton exemplifies the artist’s contribution to Southern contemporary art practices. His self-taught style demonstrates a strong use of found materials and a commitment to address the deeply entrenched socio-economic realities of the South. His life and art were not separate endeavors and the artist himself explicitly indicated that the act of creating helped him to confront the hardships in his life—not least of which were his 14 years spent in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

Lucien Smith
USA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(first floor)

Lucien Smith is concerned with nature, the forces of life, and the holy. Two works by Smith are on view as part of P.3. One is a 2013 painting titled Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin, after a Hebrew phrase in the Old Testament book of Daniel that translates, essentially, as “the future is predetermined” and usually implies that a bad event is imminent. The painting depicts a large, woozy seascape based on a 1970s postcard in Smith’s personal collection: a rocky beach turns to rust in the stained-glass-window light of the setting sun—a nod to Mother Nature’s divinity. The canvas is displayed alongside another painting of his “Ark” Series, History of the Earth, which further explores the intersections of religion, science, and nature.

Tavares Strachan
BAHAMAS
Meet the Artist
The Exchange Gallery

Tavares Strachan designed his contribution to P.3 with New Orleans in mind, as a “symbol of support, regrowth and a sense of belonging.” You belong here, 100-foot long and 22-foot high neon sculpture on a 120ft barge, is a message to a city that embodies the idea of withstanding the inhospitable and endurance, and encourages the viewers to examine themselves in relation to space. Over the duration of the biennial, the work will sail through the Mississippi River starting from the Esplanade Wharf, to the the Industrial Canal and looping back again at the Crescent City Connection.  This gesture is ever symbolic to residents who testified to witnessing a rogue barge, ING 4727, break through the levee during Hurricane Katrina, flooding the Lower 9th Ward.

Agus Suwage
INDONESIA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(third floor)

Against the backdrop of an intense climate of religious intolerance in Indonesia and throughout the world, the titles of Agus Suwage’s Tolerance (Toleransi) series reads as both a mantra: a call to bridge the divides between peoples, and a tongue-in-cheek reiteration of propagandistic double-speak. Tolerance Wall #2 (Tembak Toleransi #2) represents the buffers--physical and symbolic--between Java’s Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and animist practitioners, and the attempt by the militaristic Suharto regime (1967-1998) to impose a monolithic national culture upon Indonesia. Cast in tin cans, a silhouette of Suwage, himself a Christian convert to Islam and of mixed Chinese and Javanese heritage, is split in half through the ears, nose, and eyes by piercing audio speakers, suggesting an overbearing assault on the senses and the challenge of dualism and holism in a fundamentalist society.

Alma Thomas
USA
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
(Modern & Contemporary Galleries)

While Alma Thomas has been seen as a precursor to the Washington Color School, sharing its interest in color and geometry, her work sits apart due to the spontaneity and mutability of her process. Her work is characterized by block-shaped brushstrokes of color, lined up like mosaic tiling arranged in dense bands covering the scope of the canvas. The brushstrokes were often intended to mimic nature and she used her garden as inspiration, naming the paintings after the flowers and trees she saw in the parks around her home. Her approach might seem spontaneous, but Thomas was known to have made over 20 watercolor studies before executing her final work on canvas. Her paintings are a mixture of sudden inspiration with thoughtful and careful patterning.

Antonio Vega Macotela
MEXICO
Longue Vue houses & Gardens

Based on the currency of “doing time,” José Antonio Vega Macotela’s Time Divisa (2006–10) is composed of 365 “time exchanges” between the artist and the inmates of the overpopulated Santa Martha Acatitla Prison in Mexico City. For each exchange, the artist performed a task on behalf of an inmate: watching a son’s first steps, spying on an ex-girlfriend, organizing a mother’s birthday party, asking an uncle for forgiveness. Simultaneously, the inmate conducted an activity of the artist’s choosing: collecting and arranging all the cigarette butts in one cell, drawing a mark for each heartbeat, documenting each scar on his body. Ultimately, authorship and ownership are called into question: the recordings of Vega Macotela’s activities belong to the inmate while the objects created in exchange become part of the artist’s oeuvre. To complete Time Divisa, the artist spent over five hundred hours in jail.

Carrie Mae Weems
USA
The George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art

In the multimedia installation Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me—A Story in 5 Parts (2012), featured here, individuals from the past and the present appear as holograms in a re-creation of “Pepper’s ghost”, a nineteenth-century illusion. As jazz music drifts through space, ghostly figures emerge from red curtains drawn across a stage, telling stories of race, class, and gender. Characteristic of Weems’s practice, the manifestations do not intend to be representative of the black body, the female body, or any other narrowly defined stereotype, but aim instead to articulate subjectivity. The characters address the viewers directly, transposing them from passive onlookers into active subjects. The piece embodies the underlying premise of Weems’s entire oeuvre—inspiring viewers to continue asking themselves where they came from, who they are and aspire to be, and whom they love.

Entang Wiharso
INDONESIA
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(first floor)

Entang Wiharso’s introspective and poignantly critical paintings, sculptures, and installations reflect the psychological confusion, anxiety, and terror produced by an increasingly globalized and chaotic world, giving vision to a complex and intensely personal psychological landscape. P.3 features several works created after his return to Indonesia, where he witnessed key developments in the archipelago’s modern history—the mounting discontent of the late 1990s, the collapse of the 30-year Suharto dictatorship in 1998, and the promises and dashed hopes of the reforms that followed. Evocations of Indonesian cultural wealth, and an array of violent, shocking, or distasteful images—knives, tongues, intestines, and the like—are part of his ongoing meditation on the contentious human dramas played out on stages worldwide.

David Zink Yi
PERU
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans
(second floor)

David Zink Yi’s abstracting gaze, channeled through the alternating current of a two-panel video installation, juxtaposes and deconstructs the syntax of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms through the lens of ritual and rehearsal. Itself a form of visual syncopation, the video shifts its accents to unexpected foci: a hand manipulating a rod to tap out a beat; lips kissing air through a saxophone’s bell; a face sweating with the exertion of its distant body. The distinctions between limb and tool, agent and object, instrument and organism, are eliminated. The music unites them as nonhierarchical beings in an ecology of sound. Not one would be free without the others—not the drum, not the drumstick, not the hand, not the man, and not the music.