As part of SITUATIONS/Closure, Fotomuseum Winterthur hosts a panel discussion on artistic, curatorial and academic strategies of decolonisation. Who has the authority and the right to speak about a given culture, a specific community or history and how can colonial narratives and imageries be undermined? What are the strategies to disrupt the logics and corruptions of archives and other forms of knowledge formation, and how can we create aesthetic spaces that allow for new approaches and open dialogue based on a postcolonial, critical reassessment?
Rhea Storr, a British-Bahamian artist whose work The Image that Spits, the Eye that Accumulates (2017) is currently on display at Fotomuseum, will speak about her practice that tackles the notion and implications of both Black visibility and Black visuality. The representation of Black and mixed-race cultures, an investigation of Black performativity and white spectatorship as well as biased photographic technologies play key roles in her artistic research.
Julia Grosse, co-founder and artistic director of Contemporary & (C&), will give speak about the art magazine’s project C& Center of Unfinished Business. C&, which considers itself a dynamic space for issues and information on contemporary art from Africa and its Global Diaspora, has established a travelling library, a reading room and growing archives of books that expose, disrupt and challenge the many forms of colonial legacies and traces in our visual culture.
Gloria Oyarzabal, a Spanish artist, will present her work Women Go No’Gree, which examines the colonialisation of the concept of gender through Victorian education, monotheistic religions and the canon of beauty, thereby questioning universalist and eurocentric approaches to feminism. Resulting from a residency in Laos in 2017, the project combines colonial imagery, a library of African feminism literature and her own street and studio photographs.
Lorena Rizzo, research associate at the Center for African Studies and eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image of the University of Basel, will talk about her current research project Aesthetics from the Margins, which explores social and cultural ways of world-making in colonial and post-colonial contexts through images, signs and symbols, idioms and narratives, media and social practices.
Moderated by Thato Mogotsi, a Johannesburg-based independent arts practitioner with a practice that spans the curatorial, photography and archival research.
More by Rhea Storr: rheastorr.com
More about Contemporary &: contemporaryand.com
More by Gloria Oyarzabal: gloriaoyarzabal.com
More about Aesthetics from the Margins, University of Basel: zasb.unibas.ch/en/research/aesthetics-from-the-margins/