Month: November 2017

Diaspora Pavilion Closing Program


Diaspora Pavilion Closing Programme

24 – 26 November 2017 | Palazzo Pisani, Venice

To mark the closing of the Diaspora Pavilion exhibition in Venice, ICF produced a weekend-long closing programme of performances, screenings and talks in collaboration with 
Arts Territory and with the support of the Art Fund.

Programme participants: Barby Asante, Libita Clayton, Kimathi Donkor, Michael Forbes, susan pui san lok, Griet Menschaert, Katarzyna Perlak, Joanna Rajkowska, Justyna Scheuring, Erika Tan and Abbas Zahedi

After Venice, a selection of artworks were exhibited at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery in Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhampton

Performance programme: 
Libita Clayton, Untitled (2017) – a performance gesturing towards sites of othering and reckoning, punt holes and time traveling sinkholes. A short presentation of text, broken notes and ectoplasm. 

Barby Asante, A Declaration of Independence (2017) – a new performance within an on-going episodic project, the first chapter of which began in the Diaspora Pavilion, which involves the collection and archiving of narratives and stories from women of colour.

Abbas Zahedi – MANNA from Below (2017) – a lecture performance. 

susan pui san lok – Mobile Chorus (2005/2014/2017) – a 3-minute, 5-part instrumental score, for 5 or more voices, with the single lyric, golden, realised through occasional unrehearsed performances. At Diaspora Pavilion, Mobile Chorus will take place within the artist’s installation, Untitled (Pavilion). 

Erika Tan – Sonic Soundings/Venice Trajectories (2017) – a walking tour using the Sonic Soundings app which enables users to experience a sonic landscape of interventions posed throughout Venice by several practitioners including Diaspora Pavilion artists Larry Achiampong, Abbas Zahedi, Barby Asante, Libita Clayton and susan pui san lok as well as Beyond the Frame curators Annie Kwan and Sunil Shah.

Katarzyna Perlak – Vulnerable (ongoing) – showcases recordings done both in studio and in public spaces, in London and in Harlow where Arkadiusz Jozwik was killed in hate crime on 27th August 2016, shortly after the Brexit vote. The work reflects upon the relationship between language, power structures, social mobility and vulnerability. Presented by Arts Territory. 

Griet Menschaert – Strolling through the grass on the other side (2017) – a meeting a conversation between the artist and visitors during which those involved learn about themselves and the other. Presented by Arts Territory.

Justyna Scheuring – Interval (2017) – a response to Post-Brexit xenophobic attacks targeting poles living in the UK, featuring singers Agnieszka Podubny and Robin Paley Yorke 

Screening programme:
Barby Asante – A Declaration of Independence(2017) 

Erika Tan – A Presentation by Proxy (2014) 20:12 – is part of an on-going project around Halimah, who lived and performed in the Malayan Pavilion during the Empire Exhibition in 1924. The film takes up ideas around digital repatriation, finding a voice, and the slippage between artist as maker or performer, between subject or object and between history or art.

Abbas Zahedi – Me, Myself & A.I. (MANNA, a digital archive) (2017) – builds upon Abbas’ work in the Diaspora Pavilion and pulls together the narratives presented in each of the elements of his installation. MANNA refers to the process of transformation, which he himself has undergone to cope with the affective outcomes of his neo-diasporic predicament.

Joanna Rajkowska – The premiere of a new film, Two Men and a Mattress (2017), 8:39 – which started as a film about Brexit but grew into a narrative about an inexplicable urge that drives people to their own destruction – in collaboration with Arts Territory

Kimathi Donkor – The Searchers (2011) 2:32 and 439 New Cross Road (2015) 19:10

Michael Forbes – Red Neck Run (2002) 7:43 and Nigger Rage (2002) 11:22

susan pui san lok – Trailers (2015) 4:00 samples the title sequences, trailers, theme songs and publicity shots for twenty out of some forty film and television adaptations of Louis Cha/Jin’s The Condor Trilogy (1957-61). The work intercuts these with Google street views, weaving together fantasies of fight and flight, in diaspora.

Artist in Residence: Ewan Atkinson

Artist in Residence: Ewan Atkinson 

ICF invited Barbados-based artist Ewan Atkinson to undertake a three-week research residency in London in November 2017. Part of Ewan’s research involved visiting Munich to attend an ICF-supported conference at Haus der Kunst on the work of Guyanese painter Frank Bowling, and the remainder of his research was conducted in London. 

At the end of his residency Ewan produced an exhibition of new and existing work in the Cookhouse Gallery at Chelsea College of Art, which included a series of posters, installation and drawings. These pieces belong to an on-going body of work entitled The Neighbourhood Project. 

“The Neighbourhood Project investigates the development of persona and character within the social boundaries that might define or confine a community. Conflicts between community and the individual are explored and interrogated.  What value systems control idealized social roles and moral positions?  Who keeps these ideals in place?  Using The Neighbourhood as an object of study, I examine the production of meaning, and how it creates or hinders an individual’s sense of self.” – Ewan Atkinson 

Only In Your Imagination is a series of posters produced by The Governing Body, The Neighbourhood Tourism Authority, to advertise The Neighbourhood as a viable tourist destination.  The project enlisted the help of a few Neighbourhood residents, who dutifully attempted to play their part in aid of the greater good. While it must have been seen as an obvious move and a lucrative opportunity, the  effectiveness of the initiative remains unmeasured. However, there is evidence that suggests at least some interest was expressed (see letter). There seem to have been attempts to reach a varied audience, the discovery of editions in languages other than English suggests this. However, awkward translations raise questions about the success of such efforts. Posters one through ten were found in early 2015. Later that year, posters eleven and twelve were discovered accidentally, along with rare bilingual versions featuring text in Spanish and Guarani. In 2017 an unidentified informant aided in the discovery of a Polish collection. 

In addition to his series of posters, Ewan also exhibited another series entitled The Honesty Policy: Neighbourhood Election Ephemera, alongside postcards and a new series of drawings made while on the residency. 

During his residency, Ewan held a masterclass for BA and MA Fine Art students at Chelsea College of Art and was invited to present a public lecture by TrAIN (The Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation), during which he discussed his practice and wider Neighbourhood Report project. 

About the artist: 
Ewan Atkinson was born in Barbados in 1975. He received a BFA in the U.S.A. from the Atlanta College of Art and an MA in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.  He has exhibited in regional and international exhibitions including the 2015 Havana Biennial, the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, and “Infinite Islands”, a survey of contemporary Caribbean art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.  Atkinson has been an educator for over 15 years. He is currently the coordinator of the Studio Art BFA programme at the Barbados Community College and is a co-founder of Punch Creative Arena, an independent curatorial initiative.