CFP College Art Association CAA2020 annual conference, Chicago, February 12 - 15, 2020
Deadline: Jul 23, 2019
Session Chairs: Jane Chin Davidson and Alpesh Kantilal Patel
TITLE: Curatorial Impacts – the Futures of Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019)
Nigerian art historian, curator, poet, and educator Okwui Enwezor left a tremendous impact, beginning with his 2002 debut as the first ‘non-European art director of documenta’ whereby “Democracy Unrealized” was the ‘first truly global, postcolonial documenta exhibition.’ Enwezor’s creation of political platforms and artistic manifestoes not only changed the form and function of global exhibitions, but also opened up new ways to implement social and political knowledge in association with curatorial initiatives and practices. Over the course of the 2015 Venice Biennale, Enwezor staged a reading of Marx’s Capital every single day as a performative speech act, acknowledging the matrix of global capitalism, nationalism, and money-status that global artfairs and expositions signify. In this way, he instrumentalized Venice’s world platform at the 56th esposizione as he spotlighted the 2015 “humanitarian catastrophe on the high seas, deserts, and borderlands, as immigrants, refugees, and desperate peoples seek refuge.” Much needed, however, is an understanding of how his approaches actually intersect with discourses related to theories of affect, queer, race, and feminism, in addition to economic class. Through his enlarged scope of influences, this panel seeks papers that engage in Enwezor’s model for transforming the use of exhibitions including the creation of platforms, feminist/race manifestoes and other types of political interventions. We welcome contributions to understanding the innovative strategies, proclamations, speech-acts, performative stagings, and different ways in which Enwezor inspired, instigated, and forged new visions in order to change the existing boundaries in art, art history, and the artworld through the exhibition.