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About This Event
– This event takes place in the Creative Studio at Whitechapel Gallery
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Please note: we audio record all events for the Whitechapel Gallery Archive. This audio material may also be used for our Hear, Now podcast series.
Join artist Shiraz Bayjoo in conversation with writer, curator and journalist Ekow Eshun, in a special evening celebrating the release of Shiraz’s beautiful illustrated edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, published by Four Corners Books.
Shiraz Bayjoo will discuss working with archival imagery and histories of colonialism to produce his new edition of Stevenson’s classic novel. The conversation will take us from the 18th Century colonial Caribbean, to the Indian Ocean, and to wider global histories of violence which shaped that period.
The event will also be a unique opportunity to discuss Shiraz’s new commission for International Curators Forum’s Diaspora Pavilion 2 project, which will be launched in Venice (20-22 April) in collaboration with dancer Nicolas Faubert and vocalist Siyabonga Mthembu. Featuring installation and live performance, the work poses a collective questioning of existing systems of knowledge and an active pursuit of wisdom.
The event will be followed by a drinks reception, book signing and drop-in film screening.
In partnership with Four Corners Books and International Curators Forum.
Shiraz Bayjoo is a contemporary multi-disciplinary artist who works with film, painting, photography, performance, and installation. His research-based practice focuses on personal and public archives addressing cultural memory and postcolonial nationhood in a manner that challenges dominant cultural narratives.
Bayjoo has exhibited with the Institute of International Visual Arts, London; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; 5th Edition Dhaka Art Summit; 14th Biennale of Sharjah; 13th Biennale of Dakar; and 21st Biennale of Sydney. Bayjoo is a recipient of the Gasworks Fellowship and the Arts Council of England. He was an artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation in 2021, and has recently been awarded the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2022 Bayjoo has been invited to the 13th edition of Bamako Encounters.
Ekow Eshun is a London-based writer, critic, and curator. He is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, overseeing the most prestigious public art program in the U.K., and the former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Granta, Vogue, Aperture, and Wired. He is the author of Black Gold of the Sun, which was nominated for the Orwell Prize, and the editor of Africa Modern: Creating the Contemporary Art of a Continent.
Four Corners Books seeks to bring art history to life. Their aim is to explore unfamiliar corners of visual history, share the stories they find, and publish them as well as they can.
Run by Richard Embray and Elinor Jansz, Four Cornners has been making books since 2003. Their aim is to create a space to reflect on artists and creative outputs from the recent past that have often been overlooked, and to champion this creativity, in an accessible way.
International Curators Forum (ICF) was founded by artists and curators in 2007 to offer a dynamic and evolving programme that responds to the conditions and contexts impacting creative practitioners through commissions, exhibitions, projects, publications and events. They provide tools and platforms for professional development and facilitate an open peer-to-peer network inviting participants to be part of a generative system of skills and knowledge transfer.
Across all of their work, both critically and practically, they aim to challenge the barriers to equality and inclusivity within their industry. Through all aspects of their programme they engage with diaspora as a critical framework through which they can address and complicate public discussion, test and explore new innovative curatorial models, and create space for artistic and discursive interventions into historical narratives and systems of representation. Based in London, ICF has conceived and produced projects with artists, curators and thinkers who engage with diaspora across the UK, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.