May 28-31/ Villa La Pietra / New York University / Florence Italy
Held at New York University’s historical Villa La Pietra, home of the NYU/Florence program in Florence Italy, Black Potraiture(s) II is the sixth in a series of interdisciplinary visual arts conferences Harvard University inaugurated in 2004 with Bridging the Gabs.
Organizers: Awam Amkpa, Ulrich Baer, Manthia Diawara, Henry Louis Gates, jr Thelma Golden, Robert Holmes, Ellyn Toscano, Cheryl Finley
and …. the driving force behind all this: Deborah Willis.
A review in pictures (also by Terrence Jennings and Nancy Jouwe):
First evening Villa La Pietra. Because I’ve talked to so many people I had not seen in a long time, I was not able to take many pictures.
The conference poster is a work by Omar Victor Diop (a selfportrait)
Overview by Terrence Jennings. I’m on this (People sometimes complain that they never see me on my pictures).I’m in the middle of this detail below.
First Day May 29 2015 Odeon Florence
With: Michael Gomez, Robert E Holmes, Francoise Verges, Gunja SenGupta, Ella Shohat and Jason King
second panel : Black Italia
With: Alessandra Di Maio, Sandra Ponzanesi, Ghaul Bassi, Linde Luijnenburg, Pap Khouma and Ubah Christina Ali Farrah
Third panel of the day: The Sweetest Taboo: Theorizing Black Female Pleasure, Agency and Desire within Black Feminism (nice surprice this panel, with a change of perspective)
With: Mark Anthony Neal,Joan Morgan, Treva Lindsey, Brittney Cooper, Kaila Story and Uri McMillan
Fourth panel of the day: Activating Histories: Visualizing and Restaging the Archive
With: Kalia Brooks, Kellie Jones, mary Schmidt Campbell, Tanisha Ford, Tiffany M. GillRenee Mussay
Opening exhibition ReSignifications in Bardini Museo Florence.
The exhibition, curated by Awam Ampka, juxtaposes a select grouping of schulptured images of Africans, commenly known as blackamoors, in various states of servitude and decoration with reinterpretations and couter-narratives of the Black boy from a spectrum of contemporary artistic angles.
At the entrance A work by Fred Wilson, Snuff.
Day Two May 30 2015 at the Odeaon in Florence
The first panel of the day The Image of the Black in Western Art
David Bindman mentions the exhibition Black is beautiful, Rubens to Dumas.(2008)
Second panel of the day: Out of Body: Composing Blackness through Sound, Music, and (Performance) Art
The third panel of the day: Contemporary Art & Cultural Dilomacy: Art in Embassies Program Artists
With Robert Soppelsa, Carrie Mae Weems, Mickalene Thomas, Sanford Biggers adn Florence Lado
Fourth panel of the day: Sister Outsider: Black American Women, Identity and Global Travel
Last day May 31 Villa La Pietra.
The Panel I’m in, in the Ballroom of the Villa la Pietra. Title: The Court Moor: Blackness, Servitude & the Artifice of Court Culture. With Moderator and speaker Adrienne Childs, Paul Kaplan, me, and Irina Novikova
A few minutes later a full house in the ballroom
Second session (I visited) Imaging Masculinity with Chrsitne Checinska, Marcus Bruce, Lyneise Williams, Millery Polyne, Niyi Coker. jr.
last session I visited: Re-creating Histories: Artists’Speak with Rujecko Hockley, Justin Randolf Thomson, Hank Willis Thomas, Kiluanji Henda, Elixabeth Colomba, Omar Victor Diop
This is the maximum I can put on this blog.
See for more information http://www.blackportraitures.info/?page_id=56
In 2008 I was guest curator of the exhibition Black is beautiful. Rubens to Dumas. Important advisors: Elizabeth McGrath (Rubens and colleagues, Warburg institute Image of the Black in Western Art collection), Carl Haarnack (slavery in books), Elmer Kolfin (slavery in prints and paintings) en Adi Martis (contemporary art). Gary Schwartz made his research for The Image of the Black in Western Art available to me.
In 2014 my essay ‘Painted Blacks and Radical Imagery in the Netherlands (1900-1940)’ was published in The Image of the Black in Western Art Volume V (I). (ed. David Bindman, Henry Louis Gates jr.)
In 2017 I published a book about the black servants at the Court of the Royal Van Oranje family. More than a thousand documents have been found about their lives. (only in Dutch)
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