OCAD University professor joins Black Canadian curators and critics at Biennale di Venezia

 

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 1:30pm

Criticism and Curatorial Practice professor Andrea Fatona joined other leading Black Canadian curators and critics on a unique four-day preview of the 56th Biennale di Venezia – one of the world’s most prestigious art shows.

Called Expanded Context, the expedition to Venice sought, Fatona explains, “to raise the profile of Black Canadians on the international art scene and to engage with global diasporic networks.” To that end, Fatona and her colleagues toured the Biennale and held meetings with partners from Nigeria’s Centre for Contemporary Art and the United Kingdom’s International Curators Forum.

What struck Fatona in Venice was the sheer number of Black artists included by the show’s artistic director, Okwui Enwezor. “Because of the event’s huge influence in the art world, it was thrilling to experience Enwezor’s inclusion of politics throughout, including discussions of labour, capital and the ongoing effects of colonialism.”

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Expanded Context arose from the ground-breaking State of Blackness conference Fatona convened in February 2014. “Travelling to the Biennale was a way to further our State of Blackness discussions,” Fatona says. Fatona is planning an international symposium in Toronto in fall 2015 to keep the momentum going, and she is looking towards another overseas research-and-networking group trip in 2017, when all the major European biennial art shows will occur in the same year.

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Black Canadian curators and critics (and international colleagues) in Venice
Friday, June 5, 2015 - 1:30pm

Criticism and Curatorial Practice professor Andrea Fatona joined other leading Black Canadian curators and critics on a unique four-day preview of the 56th Biennale di Venezia – one of the world’s most prestigious art shows.

Called Expanded Context, the expedition to Venice sought, Fatona explains, “to raise the profile of Black Canadians on the international art scene and to engage with global diasporic networks.” To that end, Fatona and her colleagues toured the Biennale and held meetings with partners from Nigeria’s Centre for Contemporary Art and the United Kingdom’s International Curators Forum.

What struck Fatona in Venice was the sheer number of Black artists included by the show’s artistic director, Okwui Enwezor. “Because of the event’s huge influence in the art world, it was thrilling to experience Enwezor’s inclusion of politics throughout, including discussions of labour, capital and the ongoing effects of colonialism.”

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Expanded Context arose from the ground-breaking State of Blackness conference Fatona convened in February 2014. “Travelling to the Biennale was a way to further our State of Blackness discussions,” Fatona says. Fatona is planning an international symposium in Toronto in fall 2015 to keep the momentum going, and she is looking towards another overseas research-and-networking group trip in 2017, when all the major European biennial art shows will occur in the same year.