Curating The International Diaspora



Image: copyright David A Bailey

TrAIN Special Event In Partnership With ICF International Curators Forum


Date & Time: 6:30 – 8pm 16th June 2016
Place: UAL University Of The Arts, Chelsea
Red Room, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (UAL)
16 John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4JU

Participants: David A Bailey, Bonaventure Ndikung, Jelle Bouwhuis, Elvira Dyangani Osei, Melanie Keen and Paul Goodwin.

Curating The International Diaspora is a panel discussion that will investigate how emergent cultural diasporas have impacted the curatorship of contemporary visual arts specifically, and how new models of contemporary curating have developed as a consequence of these effects. The discussion will demonstrate how curatorial practice has been radically transformed by the diasporas of people, intellectuals, artists, and cultural workers.

More than any other field of enquiry, contemporary art curatorship has felt the impact of diasporas. Since the late 1980s, contemporary curating has moved from being primarily associated with museum and exhibition display to a practice understood as the organization, framing and circulation of ideas around global cultural production, its mediation and its dissemination. During this time, the world has experienced an increased movement of languages, cultures and identities. For intellectual and cultural diasporas from diverse origins and disciplines, a new kind of curatorial practice has attempted to represent these changes by creating what Ute Meta Bauer has called ‘a space of refuge – an in-between space of transition and of diasporic passage’ for cultural workers across the world.

During the past two decades there has not only been a proliferation of large-scale global exhibitions, but an exponential rise in trans-national curatorial projects taking diaspora as both their main focus and dominant theme. Since 1989, all large-scale global exhibitions in some way or another, from the first truly global exhibition ‘Les Magiciens de la Terre’ (1989) to Documenta 11 (2002), to the 11th International Istanbul Bienal (2009) have all engaged with and contributed to a widening of the issues as to how to present diverse cultural diasporas, and how their accompanying new networks of cultural co-operation have contributed to post-colonial models of curatorial practice that have explored beyond previously-established Western centres of artistic production.

About The Participants:
David A Bailey is Director of ICF and a UAL Visiting Professor.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is Artistic Director, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and Curator-at-Large, Documenta 14.

Jelle Bouwhuis is Curator, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Elvira Dyangani Ose is Curator Göteborg International Biennial and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Melanie Keen is Director of Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

Paul Goodwin is a curator and Director of TrAIN, University of the Arts London.

About TrAIN: The University of the Arts Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation is a forum for historical, theoretical and practice-based research in architecture, art, communication, craft and design.

About ICF: International Curators Forum: ICF is one of the world’s leading arts agency working towards improved professional development opportunities for curators and artists. ICF is intended to be an open peer to peer network and arena to connect ideas that have migrated across the world with professional developments that are increasingly global, but particular in their impact.

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