Friday, 30 May 2008

Stina Hogkvist asks...

  1. Why no curator? Was this due to some ideological non-hierarchy thinking or just a result of poor funding?
  2. Someone told me that the pirate film industry in Senegal is fantastic and that every household, rich or poor, has a dvd-player. This would mean that most people would know how to turn the machine on. So, how come no one turned them on in the exhibitions? (This is not unique to Senegal but is a classic post-opening-fatigue-now-all-the-important-people-have-gone-syndrome)

Fashion show by Senegalese Designer Oumou Sy.

Other remarks:

  1. I was blown away by the opening of Oumou Sys fashion show. It started with the men’s line that was some strange mix of tradition goes street-wise. Very nice outfits. Very nice men. When the lights went out the conferencier started mumbling something about that African men want their women to be sensual and strong and good mothers (zzzzzzzzzz). The whole fashion show was about the married woman. Which was a very interesting theme. By the look of the outfits I take it that these married women comes with a maid. Anyway. Oumou Sy lost my interest when it came to the women’s dresses. Than it was all about body, sex and tradition again. Of course feminism is something very context and timebased, and I know too little about the west-african history of fashion/women history to know if this was avant-garde or not. But for me it was just fashion singing that same old tune.
  2. I have not read one review of the biennial in Norway. Only one in Sweden. And you can tell that they are scared of writing something negative. I think it all comes from their selfproclaimed topdog position that does not want to bark at what is seen as the underdog. The sound of silence. Someone also told me that you have to review the African exhibitions with a different set of tools than the international ones whatever that means.
  3. 3. Why do all Norwegians look the same? One Senegalese artist asked me.

Stina Högkvist is a curator at the National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo.


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