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4. An Artist’s Notes on the Triangle Workshops, Zambia and South Africa

Edited by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir and Indiana University Press ePub

Namubiru Rose Kirumira and Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

African contemporary artists are often portrayed as individuals who are caught up in the dynamics of art formation spaces, sociocultural movements, and forces of globalization—as well as new discourses of artistic experience. Workshops in particular have been significant formative spaces in artists’ endeavors to become versatile in a globalizing environment (Deliss 1995; Kirumira 2008; Sanyal 2002). It is worth observing that several types of workshops that include long-term (three-month) residencies, short-term (two-week) workshops, and symposia have existed in Africa for some time; many were begun by colonial patrons. Publications such as catalogs produced by the Triangle Art Trust, and articles by Court (1992) and Richards (1998) have given varied, if limited, accounts of the status of art workshops in Africa.

Murray, Picton, and Loder (2005) argue that the condition of being an artist in Africa is a condition of continuous transition. In the same vein, for over fifty years, African workshops have presented themselves in a continuous transition from artist’s colonies, communities, and craft villages to international workshops. A revealing example of what has changed in the African workshop scenario since 1985 is the introduction and spread of the so-called Triangle Workshops, originated by the British art collector and entrepreneur Robert Loder and sculptor Sir Anthony Caro in 1982. The initial triangle was the familiar one of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; but three years later the first African Triangle Workshop, Thupelo, was organized in South Africa by artists David Koloane and Bill Ainslie.

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4. Another Colorado: The Highland Lakes and Lady Bird Lake

Margie Crisp Texas A&M University Press ePub

THE HIGHLAND LAKES AND LADY BIRD LAKE

“Who knew,” the ruddy-faced man seated in front of me whispered to his wife, “that bald eagles are really bald? That one doesn’t have a single feather on its ugly red head.” His wife lowered her binoculars and said doubtfully, “That’s a bald eagle?” Meanwhile, the enthusiastic birdwatcher had pushed her way out of the cabin and onto the foredeck of the Eagle II to misidentify more birds. I scanned the sky, “Oh look!” I called and pointed. A dozen sets of binoculars snapped to the section of sky above the limestone canyon. “Oh heck, it’s just another turkey vulture.” I announce. The couple murmurs to each other. “Bald eagles aren’t bald,” she says with satisfaction. “But turkey vultures are,” he replies.

I’m on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise1 with a group of birdwatchers and tourists; we are cruising up the limestone canyons at the head of Lake Buchanan, the first of the Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) Highland Lakes. Our boat, the Eagle II, is a big, broad vessel with a shallow draft and a glass-enclosed cabin protecting us from the raw January day. A few hardy souls stand outside in the drizzle and wind scanning the skies for bald eagles, osprey, and other winter residents of the canyons. Ferns embellish the cliffs near the waterfalls. Slender trees and shrubs, cactus, yucca, clumps of wiry grasses, and other determined survivors knot their roots into crevices and narrow pockets of soil along the rock face.

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13 Rhetorics of Resistance: The Port Huron Project

Daniel J Sherman Indiana University Press ePub

MARK TRIBE

When I started teaching at Brown University in 2005, I was surprised by how little antiwar protest there was on campus. Brown has a long history of student activism: the eruptions of 1968 culminated in Brown’s adoption of progressive new curriculum drafted by students, and in 1985 students erected shanties and staged hunger strikes to protest the university’s investments in companies doing business in South Africa. It was clear that my students objected to American involvement in Iraq and the Bush administration’s disregard for civil liberties, but they seemed to believe that resistance was futile. It is not hard to imagine why. In 2000 they witnessed a presidential election that many believed had been stolen. In 2003 many students participated in the largest antiwar protests in history (the BBC estimated that six to ten million people in sixty countries protested the imminent invasion of Iraq on February 15 and 16 of that year), but the Bush and Blair administrations were undeterred.1 In 2004 many students worked on John Kerry’s presidential campaign only to see George W. Bush reelected by a narrow margin amid accusations of voting fraud. Their formative political experiences had left them demotivated, if not cynical.

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8. Navigating Nairobi: Artists in a Workshop System, Kenya

Edited by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir and Indiana University Press ePub

Jessica Gerschultz

Governing Nairobi’s contemporary art scene is a complex web of relationships among artists. These relationships are formulated and sustained through the dynamic workshop system underlying production and exhibition. In this system, multiple levels of workshops act as the key unifier, bringing various individuals together to share materials, create, critique, and exhibit. Although individual workshops in Kenya have been discussed (Picton et al. 2002; Kasfir 1999; Burnet et al. 1999:15–18; Nyachae 1995), no attempt has been made to present Nairobi’s workshop network as a fluid system that allows artists to develop and sustain relationships beyond a particular studio space or moment in time. This system fosters relationships among artists and between artists and other social actors, such as children participating in artist-led workshops in community spaces. The oversight in the literature occurs because of the term’s limited connotations. In order to better understand the social networking at the heart of Nairobi’s art infrastructure, it is first necessary to reexamine what the term “workshop” implies and to whom. It is then constructive to outline the configuration of this system in order to consider how it shapes and is shaped by artists’ relationships. I will also discuss its relevance to artists’ conceptions of how knowledge, specifically technical and organizational knowledge, is disseminated. By reevaluating the workshop in this particular context, I will show that workshops comprise a navigable system in which artists develop professionally, relying on each other for training and support. I will demonstrate the centrality of this system and its impact on artists’ modes of working by tracing the career paths of several Nairobi artists who are representative of the wider grouping of workshop-affiliated artists. I will also underline how the workshop system intersects with wider audiences in Nairobi.

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Chapter Two How All This Writing Began

Samuel S. Bak Indiana University Press ePub

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