Thursday, January 10, 2013

DEBATE: "I AM BLACK" - Dutch artists on criticising art from an Afro-European perspective

After the debate 'Am I Black Enough for You?' Dutch artists will explore a new theme in the debate ‘Am I Black'. Main theme: Is there space in the Netherlands and on the European continent in general, to make local ethnic issues part of the local art discourse on the basis of issues coming from the Black community? And, in this way establish an Afro-European thinking about art that could be part of the general art policies.

The debate ‘Am I Black’will be held in the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) on Thursday 24 January, starting 4:30 p.m. . Language Dutch, admission free. See website http://smba.nl

With: Dr. Aspha Bijnaar, Sara Blokland, Remy Jungerman, Charl Landvreugd, Rob Perrée, Macha Roesink and Annet Zondervan.

The Anglo-American art world has available to it a very well developed Afro-American and Black British (critical) theory from which the works by Black artist can be positioned in a broader general social discourse. This fact is also applicable to the African continent and the Caribbean.

Up until now there is no official tradition of Afro-European art criticism and discourse to provide a context for criticizing the work made by Black artists in continental Europe. If we want to form an opinion about the work the only models available to us are the British-American, African and Caribbean lines of inquiry next to the dominant discourse of the European country in case.

With these limitations in the back of our mind, works produced by Afro-European artists only resonate within these existing frameworks.

This observation is the basis for the debate ‘Am I Black’ in the in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The central question is whether it is useful to think along racial and ethnic lines about contemporary art in the Netherlands, and if it could be useful to develop an Afro-Dutch and Afro-European art discourse? Is there space in the Netherlands and on the European continent in general, to make local ethnic issues part of the local art discourse on the basis of issues coming from the Black community? And, in this way establish an Afro-European thinking about art that could be part of the general art policies?

A light is thrown on these questions by initiator Charl Landvreugd and placed in an international context by art historian Rob Perrée. After this there is a discussion between Macha Roesink (de Paviljoens), Annet Zondervan (CBK Zuidoost) and the artist-curators Remy Jungerman and Sara Blokland. The debate is moderated by Dr. Aspha Bijnaar.

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