Friday, 15 June 2007

Highlights from Venice

Wow it is a real struggle finding the time to update this blog so i will borrow from a colleague and just put 6 highlights of the trip.
1. African Pavillion Press conference.
Though arrived slightly late i managed to catch most of it. This event was much calmer than seminar the day before. Alvim outlined the difficulties of dealing with a situation in which you are invited to dinner but are not really wanted and perish the thought of eating at all. But he is happy that they could fundraise all their money from Africa, therefore not having to deal with usual hassles one grows through getting money from Europe and American and the many conditionalities that entails. Bring a team of over 90 people to Venice, and setting up the exhibition in 30 days. A feat no other curatorial team or country had to contend. And in the process they even contributed towards the funding of the renovation of the Academia building where they placed one of the powerful images to be seen in venice in the most central of locations. A coup indeed!!!

I just loved this huge billboard with all the personalities
we all love and respect in the Venetian landscape.

2. After the usual debunkering of western hyprocisy by Alvim we had the opportunity to finally hear collector Sindika Dokolo talk about his involvement. This young man (about 34yrs old) was articulate and focused in his defence of his support and patronage of contemporary art. Whilst he appreciates that African have important basic priorities such as health and education he also feels that culture needs to be put at the top of the agenda. He says it is ímpossible to have a vision on the world or the future without knowledge of one´s culture. His objectives are two fold with developing appropriate cultural infrastructure in Africa but also making sure it is visible internationally. With such a focus and committment so early in his life I am sure he will achieve much.

African Pavillion press conference. Curators Simon Njami and Fernando Alvim with Sindika Dokolo seated in the middle.
3. African Artists party

Lots of good food, meeting the artists, networking and just making merry. Sorry about the awful pics.
4. More Networking
It was great hanging out with co-jury member Ethiopian curator Meskerem and Ethiopian artist Loulou Cherie and Ingrid Mwangi

5 And a bit of ´hard´work
I also meet my co-selector portuguese curator Isabel Carlos for the Artes Mundi Prize in Venice.She is great as you can see from her big smile and I look forward to working with her. Already we are thinking of something for Lagos. So it wasn´t all fun, fun and more fun but lots of meetings with colleagues.

6 Great meeting friends
Faisal Abdu`Allah British Artists i worked with on a memorable touring solo exhibition yonks ago. And of course the background is none other than Nigerian painter Donald Odita whose work was prominent as one enters the Italian Pavillion for the second half of Storr´s exhibition at the Gardini


Blogger dineo said...

love your blue skirt and your blog!!

19 June 2007 at 18:31  

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