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Session III : Biennials and DAK’ART 2008
Biennials are part of the professional art world system, constituting an important art market, one that is tied to institutional art history in the west. In other words, the biennial operates on the basis of a global consensus regarding artistic practices and art historical concepts. Socialization into such an art world requires understanding---and embracing---its values. Yet, biennials have been widely appropriated, as models, in many non-western countries such as Cuba, Brazil, South Korea, Turkey, China, and Senegal, in order to give greater visibility to their art on the international level. Does this mean that the biennial model provides a platform for critical and significant artistic exchange ? Has it decentralized the art world, dissolved art historical hierarchies, and ended general (western) art history’s hegemony ? In this session we discuss the 2008 Dak’Art biennale to explore the issue of biennials as they relate to contemporary African art.
Panelists : Natasha Becker (The Clark, Research and Academic Program), Salah Hassan (Cornell University), Abdellah Karroum (Curator, Dak’Art 2006), Yacouba Konaté (Artistic Director, Dak’Art 2006), Frank Ugiomoh (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) Moderator : Steven Nelson (University of California, Los Angeles)