On Thursday 18 April, artist and curator Charles Gaines was in conversation with Afterall editor Louis Hartnoll and writer and researcher John Tain for the seventeenth in our series of talks analysing and contextualising exhibitions through the personal accounts of the organisers responsible for them.
For this event, Gaines, Hartnoll and Tain discussed ‘The Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism’. Taking place at the University of California, Irvine in 1993 before travelling, ‘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.
This event is a collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the International Curators Forum. It is 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.
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