The Prospect New Orleans triennial, one of the most prominent survey-style shows in the United States, typically lasts a few months, and then it doesn’t return for another three years. But, with its 2020 edition fast approaching, the triennial’s organizers have plans to dramatically enlarge its programming by staging events throughout the year.
On the 10th anniversary of its founding, Prospect will have a much longer run than expected, thanks to programs that will be overseen by curators, educators, and writers like Grace Deveney, Kimberly Drew, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Kristina Kay Robinson, and Maricelle Robles. The specifics of their programs are still being decided, though Nick Stillman, the triennial’s executive director, said that their events will dovetail with the work included in the 2020 edition. (An artist list has not yet been revealed.)
“We’re almost thinking about it as additional artists, but instead of creating exhibitions for the triennial, their contributions will be to create programming in New Orleans throughout the 2020 year,” he told ARTnews. He added, “This is a way of having Prospect get boots on the ground in a visible, engaged way to drum up some visibility, energy, and excitement for the show.”
With its main exhibitions set to run from October 24, 2020, to January 24, 2021, the triennial now has a theme: “Yesterday we said tomorrow.” Curators Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi titled the exhibition after a 2010 album, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, by jazz musician Christian Scott, a New Orleans native. According to Stillman, the show will draw out tensions between the past and the present. He said of the theme, “History lives visibly in New Orleans in beautiful ways, in troubling ways, and in enormously complex ways.”