Sunday, October 20, 2013

A conversation with Kobena Mercer

Wednesday 23 October, 2013, 7 pm, at Alice Yard

Kobena Mercer is an art historian based at Yale University. In October 2013, he will visit Alice Yard to explore recent developments in Trinidad's art scene. On Wednesday 23 October, at 7 pm, he will give an informal talk at Alice Yard.

Beginning with a screening of an excerpt from Vincent Meessen's Vita Nova (2009), Mercer will explore some of the questions raised by the short film. Vita Nova was inspired by the image of an African military cadet saluting the French flag, which appeared on the cover of Paris-Match, and was analysed by Roland Barthes in his 1957 essay "The Myth Today".

All are invited.

About Kobena Mercer:

Kobena Mercer writes and teaches on the visual arts of the black diaspora, examining African-American, Caribbean, and Black British artists in modern and contemporary art. His research addresses cross-cultural aesthetics in transnational contexts where issues of race, sexuality, and identity converge.

His first book, Welcome to the Jungle (1994), introduced new lines of inquiry in art, photography, and film. Mercer is the author of monographic studies on Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Isaac Julien, Renee Green, and Keith Piper, as well as historical studies of James VanDer Zee, Romare Bearden, and Adrian Piper. He is the editor of the Annotating Art’s Histories series, published by MIT and INIVA. He is also an inaugural recipient of the 2006 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing awarded by the Sterling and Francise Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts.

His next book, Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s, is a collection of essays forthcoming from Duke University Press. Current research interests include the historiography of Black Atlantic visual arts and a new book-length study on Diaspora Aesthetics in Afro-Modernism.