Shared History/Decolonising the Image
A four–part project on the visual representation of decolonisation and its legacy
Exhibition & Video Lounge at Arti & Amicitiae & W139, Amsterdam
Curated by Delphine Bedel and Sophie Berrebi.
Hosted by agentur:
May 06 – Jun 04 2006
in cooperation with ASCA, Universiteit van Amsterdam and Maison Descartes
How is decolonisation represented through images, in popular culture, film, photography and art? Where are the images of decolonisation? What is the legacy of those images in our culture? What does it mean to ′decolonise′ an image? These are some of the questions this project in four parts seeks to raise and put forward for discussion. International and interdisciplinary in its scope, Shared History/Decolonising the Image combines an art exhibition, a video lounge and an academic conference with a film programme presented in four different venues throughout Amsterdam.
The artists included in the exhibition come from various countries and backgrounds and work with different media. Their photographs, films, video installations and sculptures refer to decolonisation in multiple ways, using the term as an operational concept, a historical reality and a contemporary situation inherited from the past. Particular themes and subject-matters recur from one work to the other. Historical, political and anthropological discourse is associated with practices of daily life. Several artists, in works that range from the humorous to the violent, reflect upon social activities such as sport, dancing and eating and show how these can be read as signifiers of decolonisation. The body and language also often appear as vectors or metaphors of colonial practices, and performance may be a manner of showing how the body can be ′decolonised′. The different perspectives proposed in the works presented in the show contribute to reconstruct, in its historical, geographic and conceptual multiplicity, a shared history of decolonisation.
The video-lounge offers a continuous daily programme of documentary, essayistic, fiction, amateur and artists′ films. The films and videos have been selected by researchers from different backgrounds and well as by artists, curators and film collectives from around the world. The video–lounge helps to underline the multiple perspectives needed in order to reflect upon the complex issue of decolonisation and its images. It will show contemporary viewpoints from the Middle East, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Algeria and New Zeeland among others. Each guest has selected three films, which will be screened from 13.00 on. Most of these films have never previously been screened in the Netherlands.
Participating artists: Tiong Ang, Dineo Bopape, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cláudia Cristóvão, Fendry Ekel, Mounir Fatmi, Johan Grimonprez, Sigalit Landau, Otobong Nkanga, Kwan–Ju Son, Jean Rouch
Films and videos selected by Francesco Bernardelli (Torino), Digital Art Lab (Holon), Daniel du Bern (Wellington) & Tessa Giblin (Auckland/Amsterdam), Ratiba Hadj–Moussa (York University, Toronto), Steve Pillar/Off Stream (Jakarta), Papua Heritage Foundation (Nieuwegein), Greg Streak/Pulse (Durban), Ruangrupa (Jakarta), Basak Senova/Nomad, (Istanbul); and films by Jayce Salloum (Vancouver), Susan Youssef (New York)