Barbara Thumm

Black Matters

16 Sep - 04 Nov 2017

exhibition view Galerie Barbara Thumm Berlin, 2017
Photo: Nici Wegener
in cooperation with Octavio Zaya
Radcliffe Bailey, Nick Cave, Barkley L. Hendricks, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Lorraine O’Grady, Dread Scott, Carrie Mae Weems
16 September – 4 November 2017

Some things and some words can carry meanings that have larger lives of their own, regardless of the meanings that we ordinarily ascribe to them. But unless we are parts of these things – such as social bodies or movements – or use those words in a historically specific way, we cannot pretend that we have the authority to speak in their names, in the case of things, nor can we deny their intrinsic history, in the case of words. The exhibition Black Matters originates in this understanding, and follows a direction that does not try to approach the subject in a vacuum, beyond history, nor does it try to speak for the subject.

The circumstances under which the exhibition has been constructed began with the current and pervasive interest that African and African-American artists, and other artists of African descent, have been garnering in Europe, particularly through mainstream museums and gallery exhibitions, biennials, prestigious prizes, specialized coverage, and collectors. This positive reception from providers and consumers of contemporary culture contrasts sharply with the increasingly restrictive European policies toward African immigrants. It has also been used opportunistically and cynically, particularly by those who deny the widespread and expanding racism within Fortress Europe. [...]

Thank you to Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, Alexander Gray Associates, New York and Galleria Pack, Milano.

Tags: Radcliffe Bailey, Nick Cave, Dread Scott, Carrie Mae Weems