The Committee on Globalization and Social Change
Coffee-Colored People (By The Score)
Monday, March 5th, 2012 | 4.30 – 6.30 pm
The Skylight Conference Room (No. 9100)
The CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Free and open to the public
Titled after the lyrics of a 1969 Blue Mink song, Melting Pot, which advocates obliterating difference as a utopian means of “getting along,” this talk–using examples from deSouza’s own artwork–will examine different artistic strategies of erasure, redaction, translation and recuperation, and will further consider cross-disciplinary solidarities between art practices and other fields of investigation. Whether official or oppositional, the very nature of art doesn’t allow it to be fully disciplined within existing structures and hegemonies, and this talk will consider what, if any, radical solidarities may be generated through art’s undisciplined possibilities.
Allan deSouza (b. Kenya), is a San Francisco-based multi-media artist. His photographs, texts, installations and performances examine in humorous, intimate and disquieting ways the relationship between the individual body and larger ideological and historical forces. His works suggest performance artifacts, often incorporating materials from his body and daily life as evidence of their temporal nature, and also as commentary on how bodies and social spaces are marked by history, geography and culture.
His work has been exhibited extensively in the U.S. and internationally, including at the Walther Collection, Germany; Pompidou Centre, Paris; 2008 Gwangju Biennale, Korea; 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; ev+a Festival, Ireland; and in recent solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; the Phillips Collection, DC; Fowler Museum, LA; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; Talwar Gallery, NY, and Photoworks 1998-2008, at Talwar Gallery, Delhi. His works have also been included in the large-scale traveling exhibitions, Looking Both Ways (Museum for African Art, NY); Africa Remix (Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf); and Snap Judgments (International Center for Photography, NY). His writings have been published in various journals, anthologies, and catalogues, including Third Text, London; Wolgan Art Monthly, South Korea, X-TRA, Los Angeles. He is an Associate Professor and Chair of New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute. He is represented by Talwar Gallery in New York City and New Delhi.