The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) presents the third episode in the Global Conversations Series entitled The Biennial and its Others on Friday, April 30 2021 at 12 noon. Moderated by Amanda Coulson, the panellists will include Bonaventure Ndikung, Zak Ové and David Scott. The discussion will be held live on the NGJ’s YouTube channel and will include a 30 minute segment for audience participation.
The Biennial and its Others
The venerable biennial model has become and remained de rigeur for transnational exhibitions of art. But are other models emerging in the 21st century? This conversation will be a frank discussion of the pros and cons of large-scale art spectacles in an era when audiences are far-flung and socially distanced.
Amanda Coulson is the outgoing Executive Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). She has worked as a scholar, critic, curator and cultural producer, having collaborated with artists and institutions, as well as private and corporate colleagues both regionally and internationally. Prior to her post at NAGB, Coulson was a co-founder of the VOLTA contemporary art fairs where she focused on increasing international awareness of the contemporary Caribbean art scene, expanding the scope of the institution and building strong inter-island and international networks. She served on the Davidoff Art Initiative (now the Caribbean Art Initiative) Board from 2012-2018 and currently serves on the Board of the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC).
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and the artistic director of sonsbeek 20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany (2017); a guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal (2018); and the artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters photography biennial in Mali (2019). Alongside the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2019). He is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA program at the Weissensee Academy of Art, Berlin and is a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto, 2020.
Zak Ové is a London based multi-disciplinary artist working in film, sculpture and photography to reclaim old world mythologies in new world source materials and technologies. His fascination with the interplay between antiquity and the future is inspired by masking rituals and traditions of Trinidadian carnival that is itself rooted in a struggle for emancipation. His use of non-traditional materials: copper, wood, Victoriana and other found materials, situates the work in the metropoles of Europe and the Americas where they merge and mutate into endless possibilities and unexpected identities.
David Scott is the Ruth and William Lubic Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of Formations of Ritual: Colonial and Anthropological Discourses on the Sinhala Yaktovil (1994), Refashioning Futures: Criticism after Postcoloniality (1999), Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (2004), Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (2014), and Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of an Ethics of Receptive Generosity (2017). Scott is also the founder and editor of the journal Small Axe, and director of the Small Axe Project. He is also the curatorial director of the exhibition, the Visual Life of Social Affliction, and the forthcoming Kingston Biennial, 2021.
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