artists & participants
Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhamtpon
10.02.2018 - 29.04.2018
Larry Achiampong, Kimathi Donkor, Michael Forbes, susan pui san lok, Paul Maheke, Erika Tan, Abbas Zahedi
Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s first contemporary art exhibition of 2018 is a reconfiguration of The Diaspora Pavilion, which took place in Venice during the 57th Venice Biennale and welcomed over 45,000 visitors between May 10 to November 26, 2017. The exhibition set to take place in Wolverhampton will feature works by seven of the nineteen artists who exhibited in the Venice Pavilion alongside some new works.
The Diaspora Pavilion grew out of the desire to provide a space for artists to present counter-narratives that interrogate the critical capacity of diaspora as a notion. Through a multitude of inter-cultural narratives presented across a variety of media, the exhibition aims to resist the normalisation of the term and to demonstrate that diaspora is an ever-present and universal process that has far reaching implications across social and cultural practices, not just within the UK but globally. The very complexity and transience of the diasporic experience lends to the interrogative approach that this exhibition attempts to present, demonstrating through these works the range and density of visual expressions that articulate our present predicaments in light of these decentering forces.
The exhibition in Venice worked to challenge the prevalence of national pavilions within the biennale structure, positioning itself in opposition to the very concept of a permanent national pavilion, yet adopting the term as a means of posing an intentional juxtaposition between the structures and modalities of this biennale and the discontinuity of the diasporic condition. As the exhibition is re-formulated for Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the conversations about the urgency and relevance of diaspora initiated at the 2017 show shift now in response to the historical importance of Wolverhampton in the establishment of The Blk Art Group and in its connection to the wider British Black Arts Movement. Acknowledging the long-standing contributions of diasporic communities in the region, The Diaspora Pavilion explores the multiple meanings of the concept in the present moment.
Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhampton will take place from February 10 until April 29 at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, with an opening event on February 9 from 5:30pm onwards. The curators of the exhibition, David A. Bailey and Jessica Taylor, and the artists have worked closely with the gallery staff to bring this new re-staging of the work to the UK.