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Rinaldo Walcott

Rinaldo Walcott was one of the writers for Reading the Image: Poetics of the Black Diaspora exhibition catalogue. The exhibition was a collaboration between the following galleries in Canada: Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, Ontario; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario; Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon. The exhibition featured work by Deanna Bowen, Christopher Cozier, Michael Fernandes, and Maud Sulter.

Walcott’s text was titled Salted Cod… : Black Canada and Diasporic Sensibilities and opened with the following quote from Rasheed Araeen, 2004. “The main success of Black Art lies in its ideological commitment, in its agenda to confront, change, and humanize the prevailing (art) system so that it recognizes the equality of all people.”

Within his important and well argued text, Walcott contends that “Because black Canadians are generally not imagined as a constitutive element of the normative Canadian in the public sphere, and simultaneously, because the Middle Passage, slavery and the various traumatic after-effects continue to affect black peoples, black Canadians understand and make sense of themselves in relation to a much more expansive notion of blackness than national terms and conditions of identity, ethnicity and nationality tend to allow.”

He goes on to argue that “Taken collectively, the artists in the exhibition Reading the Image : Poetics of the Black Diaspora work acrosss a range of concerns to excavate, re-situate and situate black people in the historical narratives of modern global culture.”

Related items

click to show details of Reading the Image: Poetics of the Black Diaspora

»  Reading the Image: Poetics of the Black Diaspora

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2006