Previously at the ICA - Events

Black Out

24 Oct 2013

Black Out, as a debriefing shortly after Frieze and 1:54, is a springboard for debate on the state of installation art in Africa by female practitioners in relation to post-blackness, with speakers Zoe Whitley and Christine Eyene.

For more than a decade the designation ‘post-black’ has come to signify the work of a younger generation of African American artists. Whilst not decrying the continued problem of the racialisation of everyday life, these artists seek not to be reduced to a set of constructed ontological and sociological imperatives. Yet how does this state relate to modes of production within Africa itself, especially given the recent sensations caused by the Angolan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale that deliberately foiled tired tropes around destitution, impermanence and dearth against the cultural trajectory of Venice itself? Again this attention, along with similar prestige granted by Tate through the acquisition of works by Meschac Gaba and Nicholas Hlobo, is mostly gendered.

With the inaugural 1:54 African Art Fair at Somerset House, where will the space be for female practitioners of installation work? As installation is inextricably tied to an engagement with space – which is accentuated by the fact that most readings of contemporary African art, which in itself is a fraught notion, are often unfortunately homogenous and geographic – how is there a differentiation between museological, topographical and socio-political spaces in making post-black work? Can installation practices from Africa unroot itself from the magic of the earth?

Speakers include Zoe Whitley and Christine Eyene.

Zoe Whitley is Curator, Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain. She is co-curator of the forthcoming exhibition The Shadows Took Shape at the Studio Museum in Harlem (14 November 2013 - 9 March 2014) and is a PhD candidate at the University of Central Lancashire where her research focuses on black artists and institutional frameworks. Recently she co-organised the panel discussion, Afrofuturism's Others, held at Tate Modern.

Christine Eyene is Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. She develops projects around contemporary art from Africa and the Black Diaspora in the UK and internationally. An independent curator, she has been involved in several biennials including Brighton Photo Fringe at the Brighton Photo Biennial (2010); 3rd Photoquai Biennial, Paris (2011); Dak'Art Biennial (2012) and the recent experimental project Mobile Emergency Room with Thierry Geoffroy presented in the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Eyene is a current recipient of a Curators Grant from the Foundation for Arts Initiatives (2012/13).  

This event has been curated by ICA Student Forum member Abri de Swardt.

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