Today’s conversation continues our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, writers, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to introduce episodes from our archive.
Based in the United States, art historian and curator Deborah Barkun is Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Director of Museum Studies at Ursinus College, outside Philadelphia. Her research centers on the social dynamics of artistic collaboration. Barkun is contributing to our stories from the 58th Venice Art Biennale. Here, she introduces our conversation with Ivorian artist Joana Choumali, first released on April 30, 2018.
Deborah Barkun writes: I am excited to introduce this reprise of “Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy.” I feel especially connected to this episode, as I was present for Cathy’s first interview with Choumali in the Ivory Coast Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Choumali spoke poignantly about African emigration and the emptiness it leaves in the hearts of loved ones left behind. Her hand-embroidered and collaged photographic diptychs depict this global migration. Loose threads left dangling from the works speak to a sense of ongoing longing. Cathy caught-up again with Choumali in 2018 at Dak’art, the African Contemporary Art Biennial, where Choumali updated her on her developing practice.
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Featured image from Joana Choumali’s altered photo series titled Alba’hian. In Agni language (from the Akan group in Côte d’Ivoire), “Alba’hian” means the first light of the day, the dawn.
Related Episodes: Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy, Sounds of the 57th Venice Art Biennale, Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief, Lisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial Gaze, Monument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in Venice, Mark Bradford Connects Art with the Real World