Prospect.1 is New Orlean’s first biennial and the largest-ever international contemporary art show in the United States. Similar in style and scope to Venice, the exhibit consists of site-specific art installations, as well as several galleries in museums and elsewhere in the city devoted to it. As the front page of the event’s website proclaims, it’s designed to bring media attention and tourist dollars to New Orleans, so book your tickets now to get down there before it closes 18 January 2009.
Why so bold-faced? Think of it as a giant humanitarian effort to get people to visit a fascinating location—it’s win-win for New Orleans and for visitors, especially the types who aren’t interested in Bourbon street and otherwise would have little reason to explore the beautifully ramshackle neighborhoods in various states of decay and rebuilding.
As Peter Schjeldahl writes in the New Yorker, referring to the successful candor of the organizer’s intentions, “featuring few big names and nary a masterpiece, it is my favorite biennial since the nineteen-eighties.”
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