The Cooper Gallery spring 2018 exhibition features an interpretive version of the remarkable installation, ReSignifications, by our guest curator, Awam Ampka.
ReSignifications was originally presented in 2015 at New York University’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy as part of “Black Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories.”
ReSignifications links classical and popular representations of African bodies in European art, culture and history as it interprets and interrogates the “Blackamoor” trope in Western culture that emerged at the intersection of cross-cultural encounters shaped by centuries of migration, exchange, conquest, servitude, and exile.
The installation includes contemporary artists who respond to the artists and designers of yore, and infuse inert objects of art with voice and presence across the ages.
About the Curator
Awam Amkpa is a curator of visual and performing arts. He recently curated Lines, Motions and Rituals in New York, Significaciones in Havana, Cuba, ReSignifications in Florence, Italy and the international traveling exhibition Africa: See You, See Me. Trained as a dramatist, documentary filmmaker and scholar of theatre and film, he teaches Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Africana Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis in NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Amkpa is co-founder and co-curator of ‘Real Life Pan-African Documentary Film Festival’ in Accra, Ghana. His documentary films include the Winds Against Ours Souls, It’s All About Downtown, The Other Day We Went to the Movies, and A Very Very Short Story of Nollywood. Amkpa has written and directed plays for stages in Africa and Europe, and author of Theatre and Postcolonial Desires and several articles on the African and African Diasporic arts, theatre and film.