Mel Chin Among Prospect New Orleans Artists

by Jessica Fuentes February 4, 2024

Prospect New Orleans, a citywide contemporary art triennial, has announced the 49 artists that will be included in its 2024 iteration, including Houston-born artist Mel Chin.

Founded in 2007 by Dan Cameron in collaboration with gallerist Arthur Roger and curator Bill Fagaly, Prospect New Orleans was inspired by a desire to host an international biennial or triennial in the U.S. on the scale of those in Venice, São Paulo, Sydney, Taipei, and Istanbul. While Mr. Cameron curated Prospect.1, Prospect.1.5, and Prospect.2, curators of the show’s other editions have included Franklin Sirmans (Prospect.3), Trevor Schoonmaker (Prospect.4), and Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi (Prospect.5).

Prospect.6, the future is present, the harbinger is home, will be curated by Miranda Lash, the Ellen Bruss Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and Ebony G. Patterson, visual artist and educator; the pair have been appointed as the Susan Brennan Co-Artistic Directors of the triennial. Prospect.6 will take place across the city, with artwork installed in approximately 20 venues and nontraditional spaces. Many of the works included are newly commissioned large-scale installations. 

In a press release, Ms. Patterson remarked, “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. New Orleans is a global place and reflects the fact that most of the world is occupied by people of color. 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.”

Ms. Lash added, “[Prospect.6] 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.”


Mel Chin

Houston-born Mel Chin is among the selected artists for the triennial. Mr. Chin is a conceptual artist working in a variety of disciplines and creates work around social and environmental issues. Texas saw a large-scale show of Mr. Chin’s work in 2015 in the multi-venue exhibition Mel Chin: Rematch; the show was organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art, where it premiered the year prior. In 2018 the Queens Museum presented All Over the Place, a 40-year survey of Mr. Chin’s work. In 2019 he was named as a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2021 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

An installation image of collages by Mel Chin filling the walls of a gallery.

Installation view of Mel Chin’s “The Funk and Wag From A to Z” at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.

While Mr. Chin is the only Texas native represented in Prospect.6, other selected artists have had significant shows in the state. In 2017, Ballroom Marfa presented Tierra. Sangre. Oro., an exhibition developed by rafa esparza and featuring an installation, performance, and sculptural work by Mr. esparza in conversation with works by Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Star Montana. In 2022, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth hosted a site-specific installation by Prospect.6 artist Stephanie Syjuco, and the Moody Center for the Arts, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Core Residency Program, presented a site-specific installation by Clarrisa Tossin.

Prospect.6 will be on view from November 2, 2024 through February 2, 2025. Learn more about the triennial via Prospect New Orleans’ website.

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carolyn February 8, 2024 - 20:02

In case it’s of interest, I believe Chin’s “Fundred Dollar Bill”-related project, “Operation Paydirt,” was included in Prospect.1 in 2008; see .


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