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Racing The Cultural Interface
African Diasporic Identities in the Digital Age
15 Jan 2005 – 27 Feb 2005
Camille Turner. Miss Canadiana (Red, White and Beautiful)
2002-2004. Photo courtesy of the artist.
The African diaspora, and specifically the Black Atlantic, encompasses the world created by the African slave trade and by other population displacements among people of African descent. For this reason the black diaspora is often described as a space of movement between cultures, nations, races, origins, destinations and journeys — a space in many ways similar to cyber space. Thinkers and media artists working in the black diaspora exploit the interactivity of this space, with its history of mixing and bringing new ideas out of global flows of black thought.
Miss Canadiana (www.misscanadiana.ca) is a beauty queen created by Camille Turner and a living icon who challenges assumptions about Canadianness and norms of feminine beauty. The installation Ghosting by Guyanese-British digital photographer Roshini Kempadoo also revisits this concept within a framework of diasporic returns to origins. Carmin Karasic’s autobiographical website, With Liberty and Justice for All, contextualizes the American Pledge of Allegiance from a position of black alienation. Philip Mallory Jones’ digital videos also push distinctions between technological liberation and the technologies of surveillance and mediation. Wayne Dunkley’s website, The Degradation and Removal of a/the Black Male (www.sharemyworld.net), provides a site for the exploration of ideas related to racism, alienation and black male identity.
At MSVU Art Gallery, we are concerned to provide a platform for contemporary black media practices, so as to enrich local dialogues about racialized identities and to explore how new media shape the political potentials of art. Racing the Cultural Interface: African Diasporic Identities in the Digital Age was conceived according to this principle.
Miss Canadiana makes a special appearance in the Canadian Kitsch Museum, Mezzanine Gallery, on Thursday, January 6th, at noon. Media will be present and fans of the All-Canadian girl will have the opportunity to be photographed with her on this single stop in a Canada-wide tour.
Read an excerpt from the catalogue...
A SPECIAL LECTURE by Dr. Sheila Petty, media theorist and exhibition curator, will be held in Auditorium C, Seton Academic Centre, on Sunday, 16 January at 3 pm. Dr. Petty will also screen American videographer Philip Mallory Jones’ videos Footprints (1988) and Paradigm Shift (1992). There will be a reception in the gallery afterward. A chartered bus leaves 5163 Duke Street at 2:30 pm, returning to the Mount at 5 pm to return passengers to downtown Halifax.
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