Saturday, October 29, 2011

New York Times on Artur Walther's collection

Artur Walther has quietly built what might be the most important collection of African photography anywhere in the past decade or so. But only since last year when he opened his Collection's museum in Neue-Ulm, Germany and a project space in Chelsea, NY this year has he given the world the chance to appreciate the depth and breath of his photo collection (which apart from the African work is rich in contemporary Chinese photography). Just the other day when I visited him at his home in the company of Georgina Beier I was stunned by his as-yet-published collection of 19th and early 20th century photographs of Africans by Europeans. It would be great to see these in the context of an exhibition that might have the kind of images presented by Santu Mofokeng in his Black Photo Album (which Artur owns too) and other images by photographers such as Keita who he has collected in depth. Such a show will dramatize, in a spectacular fashion, the politics of subjectivity as they played out in photography during the colonial age. As it turned out, Artur is already thinking about such a project, and I look forward to it!
This article by the New York Times last week says something about the significance of the Walther Collection, and the positive impact his approach to collecting has had on artists like Jo Ractliffe (whose Nadir series of photomontage from the mid-1980s still give me the shivers) long-deserving of serious attention.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Video of "Environment and Object: Recent African Art" at Tang Museum

Here is a video of the Dunkerley Dialogue--the discussion panel organized as part of the opening of the exhbition, Environment and Object: Recent African Art, curated by Lisa Aronson and John Weber at Tang Museum of Art, Skidmore College.
Tang Museum | Resources | Video: Dunkerley Dialogue - Environment and Object - Recent African Art

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slavery Memorial Competition--Announcement

UNESCO and the Permanent Memorial Committee have just launched an international design competition for the creation of a Permanent Memorial at United Nations to the honour victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade during a press conference held on 30 September 2011 in New York.

The theme  for the competition: Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the Legacy; Lest We Forget. 
Open to: Artists, designers, sculptors and other visual arts professionals
Deadline: 19 December 2011 
The winner’s prize: USD 50,000

This competition falls within the framework of the International Year for People of African Descent and contribute in particular to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
For details about the competition visit the UNESCO WEBSITE

Georgina Beier in Conversation with Chika Okeke-Agulu

Georgina Beier
is legendary for “teaching” first generation Oshogbo artists such as Twins Seven-Seven, Jimoh Buraimoh and Muraina Oyelami, who are among Africa’s best known modern artists. Beier’s work in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea has been of tremendous interest to Africanist art historians and visual culture scholars.

Longtime friend and student of her work, Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton) will explore important moments of Beier’s illustrious career and offer new insights into her art and relationship with African cultures, art and artists.

Saturday, October 15 @ 2 p.m.
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Lecture Hall, sublevel 2
950 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC
Take Metro to Smithsonian Station

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) RIP

Tonight, a flash streaked
across distant skies
while we prayed

for a world made anew

This autumn night
our graveyard is buried
in ash and salt