2015 EXPANDED CONTEXT
EXPANDED CONTEXT: BLACK CANADIAN CURATORS AT THE 56TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION, THE VENICE BIENNALE 2015
was a forum which brought together black Canadian curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale in order to build transnational networks and promote black Canadian visual art. The forum sought to ameliorate the invisibility of the works of black Canadian artists, curators, and critics within the international sphere.
The goals of Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 were as follows:
- To foster greater awareness, understanding and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between culturally diverse curators and the visual arts establishment, negotiating progression pathways for the new generation of leaders in visual arts.
- To promote Canadian black artists and develop an engaging dialogue between Canadian art and the international stage.
- To allow Black curators a space for critical reflection, research, dialogue, experimentation, and exchange.
- To provide access to ideas, artists, and artworks that can be developed for curatorial research.
- To develop partnerships for future exhibition opportunities.
Expanded Context: Black Canadians Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a unique professional development opportunity for Black Canadian curators and critics. It was a two-day gathering (held May 7th and May 8th, 2015) which addressed the politics and practice of curatorship in a globalized world.
The program of engagement included networking meetings and interviews with artists, curators, gallerists and collectors, as well as the opportunity to visit Biennale exhibitions and collateral events. The participation of Black curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale served to correct the visible absence of Black Canadian curators at key international arts events. The Expanded Context project provided an international platform for connecting Black Canadian curators, and created a global forum for these professionals to share projects and initiatives.
Participants included: Julie Crooks, Pamela Edmonds, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, Dominique Fontaine, Gaetane Verna, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott.
Participants were selected from the group of curators and academics who attended the State of Blackness : From Production to Presentation conference. Keynote speakers included curators Bisi Silva and David Bailey.
This project has been the subject of an article, “Questioning Citizenship at the Venice Biennale: Responses and Interventions” in C Magazine, Issue 128, and a podcast, "New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale" by Fresh Arts International, Fresh Talk Series.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.
This site is dedicated to Ayanna Black (1939-2009).
Ayanna Black was a fierce defender of Black Canadian culture and its production and dissemination. She believed we as Black Canadians have stories to tell about ourselves and relentlessly created spaces in which we could celebrate our joys. Black was a co-founder of Canadian Black Artists in Action (CAN BAIA).