Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Journal Instructions 1. Read this very short article about some problems with discussing art his | WriteDen

Journal Instructions 1. Read this very short article about some problems with discussing art his

Journal Instructions

1. Read this very short article about some problems with discussing art history in Africa: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-africa/african-art-introduction/overviews-of-the-art-of-africa/a/peoples-and-cultures?modal=1

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2. Now we are going to look at African art through the lens of the Venice Biennale (https://www.labiennale.org/en/history), an international art event that happens every two years (thus, bi-ennale, translates to "two years"). It is one of the most prestigious contemporary art events around the world and shapes the conversation! There is a curated exhibit, but also a large outdoor garden area with national "pavilions" which feature one artist per country each time the event runs. In a way it is like the Olympics of art – it's a huge honor to design work for the pavilion, and every two years you get to see how different artists use the same space differently. Of course you can imagine one of the problems – not every country has a pavilion, and some of the critiques you could make about that!

For this week, let's look at some of the African artists featured in the most recent (2019) Venice Biennale. The reason for this is it is too easy to look at Africa as one homogeneous continent, and I hope this helps us focus on the diversity of traditions and art practices there – from distant past to today. You can skim through these articles to find an artist you resonate with most:

https://10and5.com/2019/04/29/6-african-artists-to-look-out-for-at-the-58th-venice-biennale/#:~:text=This%20year%2C%20Ghana%20will%20hold,Mahama%20and%20Selasi%20Awusi%20Sosu

https://www.frieze.com/article/fusion-african-artists-venice-biennale

https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/africa-in-venice-forum-representation-at-la-biennale

https://hyperallergic.com/632412/massive-lego-kingdoms-that-defy-the-cultural-erasure-of-africas-medieval-civilizations/

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3. Choose one work of art from one of the links above. Answer the following questions about it:

  • Metadata: artist name, title of the work, date(s), place, collection if any, medium, size, any other relevant info to help us understand the work better
  • Image(s) of the work. Do we need to see multiple views to understand it?
  • Why should we study it? Reference at least 2 pieces we discussed together / read about in the textbook. How does your selection engage with the critical conversation from those pieces, and take it further? What is the critical value of your piece? How does it expand the limited view of African art in the textbook, and our limited understanding of non-Western art here in the US, and in Oklahoma?
  • Why did you choose it? Your personal aesthetics – why does the piece resonate with you? (Here you should take at least 1 paragraph. Consider addressing visual elements like composition, shape, space, time, color, value, line, texture, focal point, sound, interactivity, material, place, etc.) Now, keep in mind you could do the same type of assignment for Oceania, and for the Americas. 

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