Time: Friday March 24
Location: Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam
Admission: Due to the limited seating capacity at our Karel Doormanhof venue we kindly request you RSVP to reserve a seat on pzwart-info@hr.nl, indicating MFA symposium in the subject line. We will offer seats on a first-come first served basis and announce when the event is fully booked on the MFA Facebook page and website.

Positions – Strategies for Artistic Accountability
A symposium and exhibition in conjunction with ‘The Art of Looking: Description, Analysis, Interpretation, Judgment?’, a thematic project for the Master Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute, led by Nana Adusei-Poku, Research Professor in Visual Culture at Rotterdam University.

Featuring Nana Adusei-Poku, Timur Akhmetov, Barby Asante, Sophie Bates, Shraddha Borawake, Connie Butler, Katharina Cameron, Larisa David, Angelica Falkeling, Quinsy Gario, Alexander Iezzi, NIC Kay, Anni Puolakka, Collette Rayner, Nicholas Riis, Erika Roux, Anastasia Shin, Eothen Stearn, Daniel Tuomey.

Does an artist’s identity matter? Or can we just focus on form?

Positions – Strategies for Artistic Accountability brings together MFA artists and invited guests to question notions of accountability and revisit identity politics in art.

This winter, in her thematic project, ‘The Art of Looking’, Nana Adusei-Poku and the MFA artists explored questions of decolonization, the contextual framings of artists and artworks, and the predisposition to read Blackness and treat Whiteness as ‘neutral’. Taking into consideration a recently published open letter by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who suggested that those living in the Netherlands should either ‘behave normally or go away’ (‘Doe normaal of ga weg’), the question of ‘normalcy’ and the presentation of cultural identities seem to us especially urgent topics.

We invite you join us in a collective process of discovering what strategies are used when we talk about ‘positions’, and which positions we take strategically, through an exhibition of work by MFA artists and a symposium with our invited guests, Barby Asante, Quinsy Gario, NIC Kay, and more!

10am-1pm:         NIC Kay movement workshop (reserved for speakers and PZI MFA students).
1.30pm-3pm:      Communal brown bag lunch and exhibition tour.
3pm-6:15pm:      Guest presentations and group discussion.
6:15pm-7:30pm: Reception with refreshments.

Guest bios:

Barby Asante  is a London based artist, curator and educator whose work explores place and identity through creating situations and spaces for dialogue, collective thinking, ritual and reenactment. Using archival material in the broadest sense, she is interested in breaking down the language of archive, not to insert or present alternatives to dominant narratives but to interrupt, interrogate and explore the effects and possibilities of the unheard and the missing.

Quinsy Gario was born in Curaçao and raised in St. Maarten and the Netherlands. He studied Theater, Film and Television Studies at the Utrecht University with a focus on Gender and Postcolonial Studies.  His most well known work ‘Zwarte Piet Is Racisme’ critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure of Black Pete. His latest focus is on state protection of the marginalized and political resistance as performance.

NIC Kay is from the Bronx. Currently occupying several liminal spaces. They are a person who makes performances and creates/organizes performative spaces. They are obsessed with the act and process of moving the change of place, production of space, position, and the clarity/meaning gleaned from shifting of perspective. (?) NIC’s current transdisciplinary projects explore movement as a place of reclamation of the body, history and spirituality.

Image: Doreen Garner, Onika, 2014. Glass, teeth, Swarovski crystals, hair weave, gold chain, polyester fiber, glitter, and petroleum jelly. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Doreen Garner. © Doreen Garner.