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African pavilions and the politics of space

Mail & Guardian | M Neelika Jayawardane:

The theme set by 2017 Venice Biennale’s curator, Christine Macel, is “Viva Arte Viva!”, intended to celebrate artists and “art for art’s sake”. After the last edition of the biennale, when curator Okwui Enwezor welcomed visitors with readings from Marx’s Das Kapital and included works that expounded on the continued effects of colonial conquests, climate change, and perceived “crises” in migration, this year’s theme clearly distanced the biennale from “politics”

That sort of rhetoric, in which art and the political are set up as mutually exclusive, usually means that black artists are either underrepresented, or erased altogether. A breakdown of the racial demographics of the 2017 Venice Biennale by Artsy’s editorial team revealed that “more than half of the participating artists are white” and that a “mere five artists are black”, with only a single black woman artist included by Macel to represent her vision in Viva Arte Viva!: Senga …read more

Image | Awakening | Getty Images | An installation by Abdoulye Konate:

 

2018-10-23T19:34:40+00:00