— Delphine Bedel

Curating: Shared History / Decolonising the Image, Exhibition & Video Lounge

A Four-Part Project on the Representations of Decolonisation and its Legacies. 6 May – 4 June 2006, Amsterdam

How is decolonisation represented through images, in popular culture, film, photography and art? Where are the images of decolonisation? What is the legacy of those images in our culture? What does it mean to ‘decolonise’ an image? These are some of the questions this project in four parts seeks to raise and put forward for discussion. International and interdisciplinary in its scope, Shared History/Decolonising the Image combines an academic conference with a film programme, an art exhibition and a video lounge, presented in four different venues throughout Amsterdam from 6 May to 4 June.

Exhibition and Video Lounge
4 June, Arti et Amicitiae & 13 May – 4 June, W139, Amsterdam.

Exhibition curated by Delphine Bedel and Sophie Berrebi. Participating artists: Tiong Ang, Dineo Bopape, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cláudia Cristóvão, Fendry Ekel, Mounir Fatmi, Johan Grimonprez, Sigalit Landau, Otobong Nkanga, Kwan-Ju Son, Jean Rouch.

The exhibition Shared History/Decolonising the Image seeks to address a major issue of contemporary culture, namely the heritage of decolonisation through its images. What is an image of decolonisation? What does it mean to ‘decolonise’ an image? How do images exist, travel, show different realities or make appear a history that is shared beyond national differences?
The artists included in the exhibition come from various countries and backgrounds and work with different media. Their photographs, films, video installations and sculptures refer to decolonisation in multiple ways, using the term as an operational concept, a historical reality and a contemporary situation inherited from the past. Particular themes and subject-matters recur from one work to the other. Historical, political and anthropological discourse is associated with practices of daily life. Several artists, in works that range from the humorous to the violent, reflect upon social activities such as sport, dancing and eating and show how these can be read as signifiers of decolonisation. The body and language also often appear as vectors or metaphors of colonial practices, and performance may be a manner of showing how the body can be ‘decolonised’. The different perspectives proposed in the works presented in the show contribute to reconstruct, in its historical, geographic and conceptual multiplicity, a shared history of decolonisation.

The video-lounge offers a continuous daily programme of documentary, essayistic, fiction, amateur and artists’ films. The films and videos have been selected by researchers from different backgrounds and well as by artists, curators and film collectives from around the world. The video-lounge helps to underline the multiple perspectives needed in order to reflect upon the complex issue of decolonisation and its images. It will show contemporary viewpoints from the Middle East, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Algeria and New Zeeland among others.  Each guest has selected three films, which will be screened from 13.00 on. Most of these films have never previously been screened in the Netherlands.

Video Lounge programmed by Delphine Bedel.
Films and videos selected by Francesco Bernardelli (Torino), Digital Art Lab (Holon), Daniel du Bern (Wellington) & Tessa Giblin (Auckland/Amsterdam), Ratiba Hadj-Moussa (York University, Toronto), Steve Pillar/Off Stream (Jakarta), Greg Streak/Pulse (Durban), Ruangrupa (Jakarta), Basak Senova/Nomad, (Istanbul); and films by Jayce Salloum (Vancouver), Susan Youssef (New York), Melvin Motti (Amsterdam) …

Arti & Amicitiae: Rokin 112, 1012 LB Amsterdam
+31 20 623 35 08
Free admission

W139: Oosterdokskade 5, 1011 AD Amsterdam
+31 20 6229434
Free admission
Opening 12 May 21.00
13 May – 4 June
Tuesday-Sunday 13.00-18.00
Further Information: mailing [//]delphinebedel.com

Film program: 27 May-1 June, Maison Descartes,
Institut Français des Pays-Bas. Amsterdam
Conference: 1- 3 June, Universiteit van Amsterdam

With the support of VSB Fonds, ASCA/UvA and Maison Descartes