Saturday, September 24, 2011

Okwui Enwezor Named 2012 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor @ IFA

Okwui Enwezor, curator, author and critic specializing in contemporary art, has been named the 2012 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor. His lecture series and course offerings will focus on contemporary African art, its development and narrative since the late 1970s, as well as exploring its presentation in both domestic and global contexts. He will be in residence at the IFA from January to May 2012.

            Mr. Enwezor was born in Nigeria and educated in the United States. As a student he studied political science but his interest in art led him into a career in the art world. He soon distinguished himself by bringing attention to contemporary African art history and advocating African artists under-represented in exhibitions, museum collections and in the global art market.
           His curatorial experience is extensive and noteworthy. Currently he is adjunct curator at the International Center for Photography in New York City. He has been named Director, Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany and will assume that post in October 2011. Previously, he was Artistic Director of Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997), which famously issued an end to Apartheid from a cultural perspective. In addition, he has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, which traveled to Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
           His most recent books include: Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Bologna: Damiani, 2009) co-authored with Chika Okeke-Agulu; and Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). He also continues to edit the influential tri-annual magazine, “NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art” that he founded in 1994.

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship
brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures in the area of contemporary art. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe’s friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and to enhance the study and presentation of contemporary art at the Institute.

The Institute of Fine Arts has played a defining role in the disciplines of art history, archaeology, and conservation since its founding in 1932. It is unique in its integration of those fields and in its focus on research-led graduate teaching. Its range of interests and sphere of influence are international and interdisciplinary. With its close ties to the major museums and collections of New York City, its participation in NYU’s global network, and its excavations in Sicily, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece, the Institute offers a distinctive program of object-based study.

Press Contact: Hope O’Reilly

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis(1968-2011)--RIP

The execution of Troy Davis tonight is, to me, a compelling reason why America needs to rethink its Justice System and the Death Penalty.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Petition to find rapists of a Nigerian student

There is a terrible video circulating in universities and colleges in Southern Nigeria, and on the web. It shows five young men violently raping a female student at Abia State University, Uturu. For more than one hour. These animals recorded their act, conveniently blurring their own faces, but not that of their victim. Her crime was, according the rapists, that she "insulted" one of them. She was therefore being taught a lesson with gang rape. I have heard the audio of this sordid crime. The victim knew some of her rapists, and called them by name. And the rapists inadvertently identified themselves on tape. Moreover, their voices are so clear anyone who knows them could easily identify the voices. Yet, the university authorities have, like the stupid ostrich buried their heads in the sand, denying knowledge of an incident that is out there on record. The State Government too has not taken any meaningful action to apprehend and bring the strongest possible arm of the law on these dastardly, arrogant, soulless criminals. Perhaps they are sons of prominent citizens; who knows. But the violation of this young woman cannot be allowed to go unpunished. It is not just one woman that has been violated by these five men; it is our humanity, and something drastic must be done about it. Otherwise, the Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, the Governor of Abia State, and the President of Nigeria (along with other persons in position of authority within these domains) will be held morally accountable to what has happened to this woman. The local and national government must show that they are on the side of this young, victimized citizen. She could be our daughter. And her cries will continue to tug at the conscience of our humanity, until the criminals are brought to book. My hope is that, ultimately, this case will shed light on the culture of unrelenting and brazen violence against women in contemporary Nigeria.

In the meantime, there is a petition drive at calling on the Abia State Government to investigate what ought to be an easy case, and quickly bring the criminals to justice.   To sign this petition, which is the least most of us can do, please click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Public Conversation with Georgina Beier

I am really looking forward to my public conversation with the legendary artist Georgina Beier next month at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Saturday October 15. Should be fun, I hope!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nka Roundtable IV

Begins in earnest. Keep tract of discussions by visiting the Nka Blog.