Ebony G. Patterson Considers New Orleans as a Harbinger for Prospect.6
The artist is Co-Artistic Director of the Triennial's next edition, which opens in 2024.
Ebony G. Patterson. Photo by Frank Ishman.
Jamaican-born artist Ebony G. Patterson has been announced the Susan Brennan Co-Artistic Director for New Orleans' Prospect.6 Triennial.
'In curating the next edition of Prospect,' she told Ocula Magazine, 'I have been dwelling on how much history and symbolism New Orleans holds, and how the local historical legacies and cultural vibrancy of the city resonate with the global concerns my work also wrestles with.'
'My artistic and curatorial approach with Prospect.6 will be inseparable,' she said.
In her art practice, Patterson is best known for vibrant tapestries made with fabric, glitter, beads, faux flowers, jewellery, and toys, among other unorthodox embellishments. In these and other mixed media works, installations, performances and videos, she explores global social and political injustice, youth culture, pageantry, and violence in the shadow of colonialism.
Patterson is teaming up with Prospect's Co-Artistic Director Miranda Lash, who is a Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The pair first met in 2017 when Patterson featured in a group show co-organised by Lash at the Speed Museum of Art in Louisville.
Lash described the appointment as 'a homecoming', saying 'New Orleans' traditions, themes, and artists have always influenced my practice.'
This will be the first time an artist and curator have paired up to direct the Triennial.
Lash said in a statement that 'our conversations regarding curatorial approach, the significance of place, celebration and resilience, have led us in many exciting curatorial directions.'
'Miranda and I have been discussing a variety of curatorial inroads as we plan the next couple of years, but are both drawn to the historical complexities of the city, and New Orleans's role as a harbinger,' said Patterson.
New Orleans has both a fraught history and a daunting future. It was once the largest slave market in the United States, and today it's one of America's most vulnerable cities to climate change.
Yet in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the city has redefined itself as a site of resilience. That's something the Prospect Triennial itself had to demonstrate when last year's Prosepect.5 was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
A key aspect of the Triennial for Patterson has been its focus on building lasting relationships with artists, something she has experienced as an artist in previous editions of the Triennial, and as an advisor on Prospect 4's Artistic Director's Council alongside artists William Cordova, and Wangechi Mutu.
'It feels quite full circle to be returning as an Artistic Director for Prospect.6,' she said. —[O]