26 Mar 2021
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Partners in Art (PIA) and C Magazine are proud to present a dialogue between artist Anna Binta Diallo and guest curator Noor Bhangu, exploring the former’s Artist Project in C’s most recent issue 148 “Body Language.” Diallo is one of many artists in recent years to use the archive to explore how identity has become history, to investigate the relationship between image and knowledge production, and to radically disorient histories that have been falsely presented as complete. Her work embodies a move toward relationality that is vital for creating pathways to a less divided future. In it, there is a clear message that identity is not singular but dispersed. Diallo and Bhangu will reflect on their positions as artist and curator, and the ways in which this collaboration led to the emergence of new characters and narratives within the artist’s ongoing series Wanderings. Holding up key moments of research alongside specific elements in the work, both the speakers will discuss their approaches to archives as sites of learning, relation, and intimacy.
In this project, a collection of collages in motion collapse the boundaries of discrete historical narratives to offer a more expansive field of cross-cultural encounters and relations. The series encompasses archetypes and stories from Franco-Canadian, Métis, and West African traditions, yet moves beyond the tight corset of identity politics towards a more rhizomatic approach. Culled from diverse origins, figures are emptied of their symbolic contents and opened for alternative meanings. Accompanied by a text by Bhangu, Wanderings probes questions around representation and opacity: How do stories, and histories, of otherness travel? And ultimately, who has the right to opacity, a mode of making opaque that which is irreducible? Through assemblage, multiple histories are brought together to visualize intimate possibilities, tensions, and mutualities.
The dialogue will be followed by a 20-minute Q&A.
PIA is generously supporting three consecutive Artist Projects in 2021 for issues 148, 149, and 150. To receive all three issues in the mail, you may subscribe online at a special member’s rate: special.cmagazine.com
Noor Bhangu is a curator and scholar, whose practice employs cross-cultural encounters to interrogate issues of diaspora and indigeneity in post- and settler-colonial contexts. Her curatorial practice includes projects: Overlapping Violent Histories: A Curatorial Investigation into Difficult Knowledge (2018), womenofcolour@soagallery (2018), Not the Camera, But the Filing Cabinet: Performative Body Archives in Contemporary Art (2018), Digitalia (2019), and even the birds are walking (2020). She has participated in numerous curatorial residencies, including Latitude 53 in Edmonton, Praksis in Oslo, and SOMOS in Berlin. In 2018, she began her PhD in Communication and Culture at Ryerson and York University in Toronto.
Anna Binta Diallo is a Canadian multi-disciplinary visual artist who investigates memory and nostalgia to create unexpected narratives surrounding identity. She was born in Dakar (Senegal, 1983) and raised in Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg on the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. She completed her BFA at the University of Manitoba’s School of Fine Arts (2006) and received her MFA from the Transart Institue in Berlin (2013). Her work has been shown nationally including exhibitions in Brandon, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Central and internationally in Finland, Taiwan, and Germany. Anna Binta Diallo has been the recipient of multiple grants and honours, notably from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec, and Francofonds. In 2019, Diallo’s work was selected as a shortlisted finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize. She is currently based in Montreal, or Tio’tia:ke, on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka.