Sixteen years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, leading to the creation of the Prospect international exhibition as a way to support the city’s artistic output and help in its rebuilding, climate change continues to impact its cultural life.
Due to the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Idea last month, the fifth edition of the triennial, which had already been postponed for a year by the pandemic, will open on a more staggered schedule starting on 23 October. All of the projects are planned to be live to the public by 13 November, and the gala has been moved from 21-24 October to the exhibition’s closing in January 2022.
“Prospect is making these decisions in consideration of the artists, staff, framers, fabricators, art handlers, builders, and other art workers that will help us produce a successful Prospect,” says Nick Stillman, Prospect’s executive director, in a statement. “Despite the challenges of the Delta variant and Hurricane Ida, we are committed to realizing this exhibition, and I hope our colleagues, friends, and patrons will visit Prospect, especially during our closing events. New Orleans needs support at this moment.”
The triennial team is also encouraging supporters and potential visitors to help local communities and organisations with their rebuilding efforts after the storm, offering a list of groups on the ground to donate to. These include Another Gulf is Possible, Trans Queer and Questioning Youth New Orleans, Imagine Water Works, Feed the Second Line and Cajun Navy Relief.
The curatorial programme, organised by Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi under the theme Yesterday we said tomorrow, will otherwise go ahead as planned, with work by 51 artists and artist collectives—around 20% of them from New Orleans—to be installed in institutions and public sites across the city.