“How cultural differences might be articulated, mediated and enjoyed”
Programmed by Marcel Bleuler (artasfoundation), Michaela Crimmin (Culture+Conflict) and Raphael Gygax (Frieze Projects)
The starting point for this one-day series of conversations is German artist Christoph Schlingensief’s Operndorf Afrika, an ongoing project in Burkina Faso since 2008, to be presented at Frieze London. The intent was to build an infrastructure for a social space where everyday-life, education and art would merge, enabling people from different backgrounds to engage in artistic exchange. Instead of reproducing the rhetoric of selfless aid or social interest, Schlingensief had set out to reverse North-South relations by asserting that the West must “learn from Africa”. At the same time Schlingensief acknowledged the risk of romanticising the motto of “learning from” and remained extremely wary about the possibility of achieving a genuine connection across the two global contexts. A wariness that is reflected in UK artist *Sonia Boyce’s question in our title, “how cultural differences might be articulated, mediated and enjoyed”. With an increasing number of artists and curators from Western Europe seeking to realise projects in the Global South and Far East, the aim of the day is to discuss the interests and the realities involved in presenting projects and artworks out of their locale, and to raise the diverse ambitions behind international art projects. Now that the Western art world is finally opening up to showing work from outside North America and Western Europe, how successful are we in avoiding binaries and stereotypes given conflicting social and political contexts, the legacy of colonialism, and fiscal inequalities?
Speakers include: David A. Bailey, curator and director of the International Curators Forum; Reema Salha Fadda, commissioning editor (reviews) for Ibraaz; Alexander Koch, co-director of KOW and New Patrons, Berlin; Aino Laberenz, director of Operndorf Afrika; Uriel Orlow, artist; Pooja Sood, curator and director and director of KHOJ, India, and Andrea Thal, artistic director of CIC Cairo.
Supported by Arts Council England, Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom, and Goethe-Institut London.