NEW YORK.- PROSPECT.1 New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States, will be launched in New Orleans on October 4, 2008. Produced by U.S. Biennial, Inc., PROSPECT.1 will be directed by international curator Dan Cameron who was just appointed Director of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in New Orleans, and formerly served as Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. PROSPECT.1 has been conceived in the tradition of the great international biennials, such as the Venice Biennale and Sao Paolo Biennial and will showcase new artistic practice as well as an array of programs, which will benefit the local community. Over the course of its three-month run, the biennial will draw attention, creative energy, and economic activity to the City of New Orleans, a historic regional artistic center, and the struggling Gulf Region. Significant seed funding is being provided by the Toby Fund, which was established by Toby Devan Lewis.
PROSPECT.1 will present the work of more than 75 local, national, and international artists of different generations working in all media. Each artist in the exhibition will be provided with a dedicated space or venue located in sites throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area. Many of the worlds most promising and/or recognized artists will be invited to develop major new projects to be premiered in New Orleans during the biennial.
With a combined total of 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, PROSPECT.1s venues will include museums, art centers, warehouses, factory spaces, and municipal open spaces across the city. The biennial will feature a collaborative presentation among the citys three major art institutions: the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. In addition, outstanding examples of historic New Orleans architecture will be renovated and/or adapted specifically to exhibit contemporary art installations.
New Orleans was the first U.S city to host a recurring international art exhibition, beginning in 1887 with the Exhibition of the Art Association of New Orleans. In this tradition, PROSPECT.1 will feature art originating from New Orleans and Louisiana within an international context and will provide the Louisiana public with new art conceived and developed for the city.
PROSPECT.1 has been designed to help reinvigorate the City of New Orleans, a historic regional artistic center, following the human, civic, and economic devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The primary goal of the biennial exhibition is to redevelop the city as a cultural destination where the visual arts are celebrated and can once again thrive.
Focusing these efforts and a wide national desire to help, PROSPECT.1 will initiate a new category of cultural tourism on a scale normally seen during Mardi Gras and the citys celebrated JazzFest. This influx of international tourists will be an enormous boon for the local economy, including hotels, restaurants, shopkeepers and gallerists. It is anticipated that over half of the biennials estimated quarter million attendees will be Louisiana residents. Opening weekend events will likely attract several thousand visitors and will include a fundraising event for New Orleans charities that promote art in the schools. In cities with large numbers of contemporary art collectorssuch as New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angelesa targeted promotion will attract people who want to do something positive to support the city and people of New Orleans, its strong visual arts traditions, and who are eager for a new art-based travel opportunity in the United States.