Friday, December 7, 2007

Art (Star) Fantasies and other Sundry Items

I'm so intrigued by the "come to new orleans and make an artwork" movement. Several approaches to this process are emerging, from the official Prospect 1 Biennial "get-invited-spend-a-little-time-here" approach; to the Brad Pitt money-where-his-mouth-is approach (that's certainly community based! see photo and link); to Takashi Horisaki's self-reliant diy project (which he did get a small grant for from Socrates Sculpture Park); to Art in Action, which faciliates between local and national artists and the N.O. community; to the Paul Chan "put-in-the-time" with the help of Creative Time model of community art; to other sundry people who get grants from elsewhere and arrive (see interview with Mark Bradford and Sam Durant on Transforma website.) And based on my busy weekends, there seems to be alot of artmaking by folks who are pre- and post- storm residents. It feels really active here, but dialogue, other than that of our two local art critics, seems mostly centered around the national artists coming in to town. (**Plug- this is what this website is for, local dialogue...participatory...sorry, that means you! Write something!**;) This is good, right?--all the artists from elsewhere, making work here. And doesn't the "insider - outsider" dichotomy need to be ditched anyway? Maybe each local artist can "adopt" a visiting artist...a welcome wagon... Where is this going?

The Biennal and the crowds it will bring to town have put stars in local artists eyes. There's some talk about New Orleans artists getting together to create their own alternative track to the Biennial. Will alternative, local shows be just another art site for Biennial attendees to fit into their busy schedule? How can local artists leverage our daily lives here to create an alternative that is truly unique? (Art = Life we need you, Linda Montano! Maybe she could come in as a consultant for the local art scene!) But seriously, how can we reframe the Biennial approach to provide a must-see alternative that is more than a bunch of disparate artworks in a warehouse?

Read the linked article and check out the Transforma website, which posits a community based approach to artmaking. It will be interesting to see what community-based projects will be in the Biennial. The Transforma New Orleans project is a beta test for extension of this approach into other cities.

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