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Exhibition Histories Talk: Charles Gaines

18 apr 2019
Public talk
Whitechapel Gallery, London.

This event is the seventeenth in our series of talks analysing and contextualising exhibitions through the personal accounts of the curators responsible, co-organised with Whitechapel Gallery, London. Artist and curator Charles Gaines will be in conversation with Afterall editor Louis Hartnoll and writer and researcher John Tain to discuss ‘The Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism’.


Installation view showing work by David Hammons, Renee Green, Gary Simmons and Pat Ward Williams, ‘The Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism’, Fine Arts Gallery, University of California, Irvine, 1993. Photograph: Catherine Opie. Courtesy Charles Gaines

Opening at the Fine Arts Gallery, University of California, Irvine in 1993, ‘The Theater of Refusal’ foregrounded questions of structural racism by juxtaposing works by African-American artists with their reception in mainstream arts criticism. First proposed by Gaines in 1989 and developed through extended dialogue and debate, this multi-faceted exhibition articulated a theory of counter-marginality.

Exhibition Histories Talks: Charles Gaines
Thursday 18 April, 19:00–20:30

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
E1 7QX

Tickets: £9.50 (concessions £7.50). Tickets are available on the Whitechapel Gallery website.

This event is a collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London and the International Curators Forum. It forms part of the Exhibition Histories research and publication project, developed by Afterall and published in association with Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

The Exhibition Histories series is distributed by Koenig Books, London.