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Documenta 11_Platform 5/Exhibition

Group show at Documenta Halle. 2002
Date: 8 June, 2002 until 15 September, 2002
Curator: Okwui Enwezor
Organiser: Documenta Foundation

Documenta is a multi site exhibition based in the German city of Kassel that occurs every 5 years.

From the Documenta 11 website: “Documenta 11 in Kassel will show works by a total of 116 artists and artists’ groups. Most of these works were specially created for Documenta 11, and many of the artists are showing comprehensive and complex exhibits. These projects are often multimedial, and they combine various forms of presentation. Over the period of 100 days, installations will become workshops, or be turned into offices, or stages for performances and locations of interaction. In addition there will be temporary projects including plays for the theater, concerts, or performances that will take place at arranged dates and times. Finally, some artists and groups with works that generally have a communicative approach will hold public presentations and will directly involve the audience in this aspect of their work. These events are an essential part of the Documenta 11 exhibition.”

Documenta XI was distinct for a number of reasons, and differed markedly from a number of the Documenta that had preceded it. Even as recently as Documenta IX, the interlinked series of exhibitions were being regarded as Eurocentric in their construction. Under Enwezor’s directorship, such an accusation certainly had no place. Frieze , Issue 6, September - October 1992, carried a lengthy feature on Documenta IX, written by Stuart Morgan (Body Language, Documenta IX: Three Perspectives). In the text, Morgan referred to the absence of artists from Africa. “… They might also think him [Jan Hoet, the Belgium curator of Documenta IX] Euro-centric. After a month in Africa, he found nothing he thought worth including. In his own words, he met artists who operate in complete isolation. ‘For these people there is no gallery or museum-world, there is no correct context for their art. From an anthropological view that is very interesting to us… Art today always has to do with criticism and conflict - yet neither exists in Africa. In Europe the artist is always a critics… In Africa and also in India… art is totally isolated.” The quote (which appears here exactly as Morgan had edited it) was followed by Morgan’s musings on the credibility of Joet’s view.

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People in this exhibition + view all 122

»  Zarina Bhimji

Born, 1963 in Mbarara, Uganda

»  Steve McQueen OBE, CBE

Born, 1969 in London, UK

»  Cildo Meireles

Born, 1948 in Rio, Brazil

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

Exhibition venues

»  Documenta Halle

Kassel, Germany

Okwui Enwezor

Born, 1963 in Nigeria

Okwui Enwezor was the Artistic Director of Documenta 11, in Kassel Germany, 2002. The authour of numerous texts, he contributed the essay: The Black Box, p.42 - 56 to the Documenta 11_Platform 5 Catalogue. For the Transforming the Crown catalogue (1997), he contributed the essay ‘A Question of Place: Revisions, Reassessments, Diaspora’. A quote from another text by Enwezor, on Chris Ofili,  was used in the gallery guide accompanying Ofili’s mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain, 27 January - 16 May 2010. That particular text was Okwui Enwezor, Vexations and the Pleasure of Colour: Chris Ofili’s Afromuses and the Dialectic of Painting, in Chris Ofili exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, 2010.

From the San Francisco Art Institute: www.sfai.edu/People/Person.aspx?id=1190

Okwui Enwezor is Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute. He has held positions as Visiting Professor in Art History at University of Pittsburgh; Columbia University, New York; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and University of Umea, Sweden. Enwezor was Artistic Director of Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (1998-2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996-1997). He has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror’s Edge, Bildmuseet, Umea, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Tramway, Glasgow, Castello di Rivoli, Torino; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940-Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, List Gallery at MIT, Cambridge; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, AXA Gallery, New York, Palais des Beaux Art, Brussels, Lenbach Haus, Munich, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Witte de With, Rotterdam; co-curator of Echigo-Tsumari Sculpture Biennale in Japan; co-curator of Cinco Continente: Biennale of Painting, Mexico City; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago.

As a writer, critic, and editor, Enwezor has been a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and journals. He is founder and editor of the critical art journal Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art published by the Africana Study Center, Cornell University. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, catalogues, books, and magazines including: Third Text, Documents, Texte zur Kunst, Grand Street, Parkett, Artforum, Frieze, Art Journal, Research in African Literatures, Index on Censorship, Engage, and Atlantica. Among his books are Reading the Contemporary: African Art, from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, Cambridge and INIVA, London) and Mega Exhibitions: Antinomies of a Transnational Global Form (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich) and the four volume publication of Documenta 11 Platforms: Democracy Unrealized; Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation; Creolité and Creolization; Under Seige: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johanneburg, Kinshasa, Lagos (Hatje Cantz, Verlag, Stuttgart), which Enwezor edited.

He has served on numerous juries, advisory bodies, and curatorial teams including: the advisory team of Carnegie International in 1999; Venice Biennale; Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum; Foto Press, Barcelona; Carnegie Prize; International Center for Photography Infinity Awards; Young Palestinian Artist Award, Ramallah; and the Cairo, Istanbul, Sharjah, and Shanghai Biennales.

Enwezor is a recipient of awards and grants from Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, International Art Critics Association, and Peter Norton Curatorial Award.

He is currently completing two books, The Postcolonial Constellation: Contemporary Art in a State of Permanent Transitions and Archaeology of the Present: The Postcolonial Archive, Photography and African Modernity; and two exhibition projects, Snap Judgments: Recent Positions in Contemporary African Photography and On Governmentality: Techniques and Technologies of Critique, Dissent, Resistance and Solidarity in Contemporary Art. In 2004 he co-convened a major international conference: Modernity and Contemporaneity: Antinomies of Art and Culture after 20th Century at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Museum.

Enwezor is the Artistic Director of Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, in Seville, Spain. He lives in New York and San Francisco.”

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»  Documenta Halle

Kassel, Germany