The American-Cuban artist, author and curator Coco Fusco often strikes a nerve with her interactive performances, e.g. the piece “Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West”. To mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America in 1992, she and the artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña displayed themselves in a cage, pretending to be supposedly newly discovered natives of a fictitious Mexican island. While the artists hoped to make a satirical comment on the Eurocentric idea that America was “discovered”, presenting themselves as a human exhibition which was typical in colonial times, quite a few visitors didn't see the irony and reacted rudely and condescendingly. Since the 1980s, Coco Fusco has used performances, videos, archival documents and texts to reflect on the construction of identity and the perception of cultural difference against the backdrop of colonial history and intercultural relations. With her performative, academic and political work, she sheds a critical light on Western society from a post-colonial perspective, and her statements are highly valued in cultural political discourse on identity and body politics, feminism and institutional criticism. In a survey exhibition curated by the KW Berlin, Fusco’s entire artistic achievement will be honoured in Germany for the first time. The project places special focus on the interdisciplinary interweave of artistic, performative and dialogical elements in Fusco’s complex oeuvre.
As part of the exhibition, the artist will be presenting a new performance monologue. The accompanying programme is devoted to such themes as cultural appropriation, objectification of the other, and the effects of colonial thinking and exhibition practices. In the planned lecture series at the ICI Berlin, researchers will hold presentations on the artist’s ideas and works.
Artistic director: Léon Kruijswijk
Curators: Anna Gritz, Léon Kruijswijk
Artist: Coco Fusco
Exhibition: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, KUNST-WERKE Berlin e.V., Berlin: 14 Sep. 2023 – 7 Jan. 2024 (opens 13 Sep. 2023 (for the Berlin Art Week 2023)
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.