In this exhibition, four young artists explore the cultural legacy of the African continent, as well as the extent to which “blackness” has become a social construct of identity. Their artistic work testifies to a changing (self-)awareness within the black community which has coalesced in recent years and has imparted new relevance to a transatlantic African culture. As early as the mid-1990s, the sociologist Paul Gilroy described the neighbouring states along the Atlantic coast as a singular cultural region, characterised by African, American, Caribbean and European influences and whose shared origin was tied to those who were impacted by the slave trade. It was then that Gilroy coined the term of the “Black Atlantic”. The participating artists are a reflection of this cultural region due to their background: Sandra Mujinga, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1989 and grew up in Norway, investigates identity-political attributions and counters them with artistic strategies of camouflaging. The US-born Tschabalala Self (*1990) takes issue with the image of blacks in the media, and the South African Kemang Wa Lehulere (*1984) examines the reception of African art in large-scale presentations. The Brazilian artist Paulo Nazareth (*1977) addresses the impact of colonialism and slavery in the Americas. The Kunstverein Hannover will also host a one-week international conference entitled “Anthropology and Contemporary Visual Arts from the Black Atlantic”, which aims to further promote academic discourse in this area. The extensive accompanying programme, which includes film presentations and workshops for children and adolescents, will introduce the public to this thematic complex.
Artistic director: Kathleen Rahn
Artists: Sandra Mujinga, Paulo Nazareth, Tschabalala Self, Kemang Wa Lehulere
Conference “Anthropology and Contemporary Visual Arts from the Black Atlantic”, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover: 14–18 Apr. 2020
15 February, 2020 to 1 June, 2020: Exhibition
Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover