Tonight, New Orleans’ international art biennial, Prospect 3, brings out its literary side.
The P.3 Reads series invites international artists to New Orleans public libraries to discuss some of their favorite books. Brooke Davis Anderson is executive director of Prospect 3. She says curator Franklin Sirmans has taken several works of literature — like Walker Percy’s New Orleans novel The Moviegoer — as inspiration for the biennial.
Anderson met with New Orleans' library staff to figure out ways to incorporate reading into the run-up to Prospect 3. But they knew one thing they did not want: a book club.
"Nothing against book clubs," says Anderson. "We just knew there were many around the city, and that we didn't necessarily need to add another one."
Instead, P.3 Reads aims to acclimate New Orleans residents to talking and thinking more about contemporary art, through discussion with Prospect 3 artists about the books they've found inspiring.
"Acknowledging that creative people love reading a lot, we thought a place where the public library audience could met the artists of Prospect 3 in a natural way might be through the love of reading and the love of books," says Anderson.
Plus, while the artists included in Prospect 3 have not been officially announced, those paying attention to the P.3 Reads programs get a sort of sneak peak at who will be included in the international biennial this fall. Prospect 3 will include the work of about 50 international artists, installing their work across New Orleans this October.
The April 17 P.3 Reads program, 6 p.m. at the Mid-City library branch, includes Chinese artist Liu Ding, talking about some of his most loved books with NOMA’s Curator of Asian Art and the head of the Confucius Institute at Xavier University.