CAMP / Center for Art on Migration Politics, Copenhagen, Denmark 21 Sep 2018 - 15 Dec 2018
On September 21, CAMP opens the pertinent group exhibition Decolonizing Appearance. The show is guest curated by New York-based visual culture theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff. With its remarkable array of some of contemporary art’s biggest artists, thinkers, and activists — John Akomfrah, Khalid Albaih, Gurminder K. Bhambra, Abdul Dube, Sonya Dyer, Jeannette Ehlers, Forensic Architecture, Ghetto Fitness, Jane Jin Kaisen, Pedro Lasch, Marronage, MTL Collective, Carl Pope, Dread Scott— the exhibit examines what appearance is, how appearance is used to classify, separate, and rule human beings on a hierarchical scale, and how we can challenge this regime.
Decolonizing Appearance presents works that offer visual, performative, and activist interventions into the act of appearing. To appear is to become visible or noticeable; to claim the right to exist, to possess one’s body, and to matter in the space of politics. But not everyone is able to claim or exercise these rights. Settler colonialism developed racial and gendered categories to limit the possibility of appearance for the colonized.
Such colonial classification is still at work today. This is made clear to us when wearing the Niqab or moving across borders are considered criminal acts; when being Black makes you a living target or when living in ‘ghetto’ areas in present-day Denmark is used to limit your legal rights.
Through photography, video, installation, and text, we are invited to think and act on how to produce worlds where no one is illegal, where Black lives matter, where no one has to use #metoo. In their work and practice, decolonization is not a metaphor. It is not just something to see, it is something to do, from painting murals and making banners, to decolonizing assemblies and workshops.
On September 21 the opening happens with a party and guest curator Nicholas Mirzoeff talks about his ideas behind the exhibition. There will also be artist talks by Copenhagen-based artists Khalid Albaih, Abdul Dube, and Jeannette Ehlers, who have contributed to the exhibition.