Prospect.6: the future is present, the harbinger is home will posit New Orleans as a global point of departure for examining our collective future as it relates to climate change, legacies of colonialism, and definitions of belonging and home. With regard to New Orlenians as Prospect’s first audience, the Co-Artistic Directors are inspired by the city’s unique ability to offer poignant lessons and models for how to live in constant negotiation with a warming planet, grounded within a community that reflects the global majority, and in direct proximity to the effects and aftereffects of colonial and exploitative economies. The exhibition urges consideration of the question, What does it mean to think of a harbinger as a gift?
“Prospect.6: the future is present, the harbinger is home presents a challenge to our perceptions of ‘home’ — it asks us to consider that what we hold dear about the places where we live may, in fact, share commonalities with places we’ve never considered. This triennial is about decentering our understanding and viewing New Orleans through a lens that transcends North American narratives and anchors the city in a global discourse,” said Ebony G. Patterson. “New Orleans is a global place and reflects the fact that most of the world is occupied by people of colour. What does it mean to think about places like New Orleans, as currently living in the future, rather than a future to come? And that places outside of this are actually behind.”
“We are grateful to the artists of Prospect.6 for being part of a layered conversation around the environment, our human search for connection and vibrance, and the ways that New Orleans relates to their communities, histories, and visions for the future, ” added Miranda Lash. “This triennial offers a critique and discussion of how people, communities, and regions like Louisiana have been and continue to be regarded as sites of extraction for resources and labor. At the same time, New Orleans offers profound insight into how culture, neighborhoods, and deep histories tether us to people and places, even in the face of mounting challenges. We see this tension between attachments to home—however one defines it—and the shifting climate as one of the defining issues of our foreseeable future.”
In the spirit of the triennial’s city-wide model, this year’s presentation will envelop the different neighborhoods of New Orleans, mounting major artistic presentations from world-renowned artists across venues like Newcomb Art Museum, The Ogden Museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Harmony Circle, and Contemporary Arts Center. Prospect.6 will also champion the work of artists from various backgrounds and disciplines, such as Joiri Minaya, Raùl de Nieves, Abigail DeVille, Brendan Fernandes, Christopher Cozier, Joan Jonas, and Yee I-Lann, to prompt an exploration of New Orleans’s cultural breadths and social histories in relation to the city’s global footprint.
Prospect has a longstanding commitment to New Orleans’s creative communities and takes care to honor the complexity of lived experiences within New Orleans and other regions often framed by tourism, stereotypes, and service economies. Recognizing the often fraught relationship between triennials and their locales, Prospect.6 will aim to articulate an answer to enduring questions, such as “What does it mean to speak from a place, rather than at it?”
“I am very pleased to be able to experience this iteration of Prospect with my city and the rest of the world. This Prospect looks at New Orleans as home for many, and an entry to recently imagine a global community through the rich history of this place once called Bvlbancha, now called New Orleans today,” says artist and Prospect.6 curatorial advisor Ron Bechet.
Prospect.6: the future is present, the harbinger is home is strongly informed by contributions of living artists, either based in or with ties to Louisiana, such as Hannah Chalew, Thomas Deaton, Christian Ðinh, Abdi Farah, L. Kasimu Harris, Blas Isasi, Ruth Owens, Brooke Pickett, and Ashley Teamer. The triennial also employs the notion of foresight and futurity in New Orleans and places like New
Orleans, featuring artists from regions connected to Louisiana through historic paths of forced or voluntary migration and diaspora, including the Caribbean, Central and South America, indigenous North America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, to emphasize the very essence of home within an ever-changing environment.
Says Nick Stillman, Executive Director of Prospect New Orleans: “The concept of ‘harbinger ’is the key to this exhibition. Prospect.6 will be a showcase of ambitious projects with a sense of intentionality and wonder, a curatorial vision of big moments, active engagement in creating new narratives, and active interventions within the public sphere and landscape.”