Black Venus is still on view at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, United States until August 20, 2023
Originally created for Fotografiska in New York where it debuted in 2022, the exhibition has been expanded and updated for Bay Area audiences with the addition of several local artists and art pieces from local collections. It travels to Somerset House in London after its West Coast stop at MoAD. The exhibition’s thematic foundation is the Hottentot Venus, a visual-culture archetype named for the assigned stage name of Saartje Baartman. Enslaved by Dutch colonizers and toured around Europe as part of a freak show due to her non-Western body type, caricatured depictions of her spread around the globe and indelibly catalyzed the Western exoticization and othering of Black women. In Black Venus, archival depictions of Baartman and other historical Black women pair with narrative portraiture by some of today’s most influential Black artists whose work deals with layered narratives of Black femininity.
Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is to Me is still on view at Tate Britain in London, United Kingdom until August 20, 2023
One of the leading artists working today, Isaac Julien is internationally acclaimed for his compelling lyrical films and video art installations. This ambitious solo show will chart the development of his pioneering work in film and video over four decades from the 1980s through to the present day, revealing a career that remains as fiercely experimental and politically charged as it was forty years ago. The exhibition will present a selection of key works from Julien’s ground-breaking early films and immersive three-screen videos made for the gallery setting, to the kaleidoscopic, sculptural multi-screen installations for which he is renowned today. Together, they explore how Julien breaks down barriers between different artistic disciplines by drawing from film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture.
Kara Walker: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection is still on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, United States until September 3, 2023
Drawing inspiration from depictions of the antebellum South, Walker has invented a repertoire of powerful narratives in which she explores notions of racial supremacy and historical accuracy, conflating fact and fiction to uncover the living roots of racial and gender bias. Acquired from the Hammer’s 2008 presentation of her work, The Battle of Atlanta (1995) is a 12-foot painting in the round inspired by Walker’s interest in the popular cycloramas of the late nineteenth century, immense painting installations that often depicted major historical events, particularly Civil War battles. Recasting the famous battle of 1864 using seventeen paper cutouts, Walker builds an intricate diorama using the silhouette to cast shadows on conventional thinking about race representation in the context of discrimination, exclusion, sexual desire, and love.
12th Liverpool Biennial is still open at various locations in Liverpool, United Kingdom until September 17, 2023
Liverpool Biennial opened its 12th edition, titled “uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things”, unveiling a series of exhibitions and outdoor artworks across the city. A dynamic programme of free exhibitions, performances, screenings, community and learning activities and fringe events unfolds over 14 weeks, shining a light on the city’s vibrant cultural scene. “uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things” is curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa and presents the work of 35 leading and emerging artists and collectives from 6 continents, including 15 new commissions. Liverpool Biennial 2023 addresses the history and temperament of the city of Liverpool and is a call for ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom and healing. In the isiZulu language, ‘uMoya’ means spirit, breath, air, climate and wind.
PhotoIreland Festival 2023 is taking place at various locations in Dublin, Ireland until August 27, 2023
Vibrant, friendly, all-inclusive: a festival for all to enjoy, this year’s edition brings to Ireland contemporary photography by celebrated artists from diverse cultural backgrounds through a series of guest-curated exhibitions by internationally established curators – including newly commissioned and rarely seen works, and hundreds of publications to discover at the art book fair, alongside an engaging public talks programme with a series of discursive events taking place online and in-person. In this 14th edition entitled R/evolutions, the interlinked and collaboratively conceived two main exhibitions are organised by international curators Catherine E. McKinley and Renée Mussai, with artists Aida Silvestri, Atong Atem, Bernice Mulenga, Frida Orupabo, Heather Agyepong, Hélène Amouzou, Lola Flash, Mónica de Miranda, Phoebe Boswell, Silvia Rosi, Zanele Muholi, amongst others.