Curator’s Perspective: Bisi Silva

ICI (Independent Curators International) has developed its first touring curatorial conversation with Bisi Silva, an independent curator and the founder/director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Throughout May, Silva will participate in a series of public lectures, panel discussions, and conversations across the U.S., including Chicago, Houston, New York, Williamstown, MA, and Newark, NJ.

The conversation series will explore the growing impact of transnational practice, using Silva’s extensive curatorial experiences across Africa, Asia, and Europe as a starting point for discussion. Looking at the potential for new dynamic forms of exhibition-making and cultural exchange, Silva will present her research into artists, as well as respond to questions posed on the subjects of the expansion of curatorial networks and emerging collaborative institutional models around the world.

Organized as part of ICI’s new programming initiatives that provide a platform for innovative curators to directly connect with diverse publics, this conversation series will be Silva’s first visit to the United States in over a decade. ICI’s executive director Kate Fowle will moderate the conversations and each event will be recorded, so that transcripts and edited video footage can be made available on ICI’s website.

Conversation Series Tour

May 1, 2010
5-6:30 pm
Beyond the White Cube II: International Networks
NEXT Talk Shop, 7th Floor
Converge Curators Forum, Art Chicago
Chicago, IL

How can the expansion of curatorial networks and collaborative practice between institutions internationally start to build the potential for new forms of exhibitions and exchange? How are practitioners re-thinking and re-defining their roles? Moderated by Kate Fowle, Executive Director of ICI (Independent Curators International), panelists include João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston; Abigail Satinsky, Co-director, InCUBATE, Chicago; and Bisi Silva.

May 5, 2010
6:30-8:30 pm
MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts)
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY

MoCADA, Independent Curators International and the Museum for African Art are partnering together to bring Bisi Silva to Brooklyn! Bisi Silva is an internationally acclaimed curator, art critic and, more recently, the founder and director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Silva will speak about her history as a curator, past, present and future, her journey starting the CAA and will highlight artists she has been working with in Nigeria and throughout the continent.  Following will be a roundtable discussion between Ms. Silva, Lisa Binder, Assistant Curator at Museum for African Art and Kimberli Gant, Exhibitions Director at MoCADA on the role of curators in developing African and African Diasporan artists.

May 6, 2010
5:30-7 pm
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA

In conversation with Natasha Becker, Mellon Assistant Director of Research and Academic Program, Bisi Silva will continue her dialogue on transnational curatorial practices and current research areas.

May 7, 2010
6-7 pm
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ

Newark Museum curator Christa Clarke and Bisi Silva discuss issues of curatorial practice in conjunction with the opening of a new gallery devoted to contemporary arts of Africa from the Museum’s permanent collection, the first such gallery in the country.

May 9, 2010
4-6 pm
The Curator’s Perspective with Bisi Silva
New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY

Bisi Silva will present at ICI’s The Curator’s Perspecitve, an itinerant public discussion series, featuring an international curator who distills current happenings in contemporary art including the artists they are excited by, exhibitions that have made them think, and their views on recent developments in the art world.

May 10, 2010
8 pm
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross Street
Houston, TX

Bisi Silva wraps up her conversation series at the Menil Collection with curator Kristina Van Dyke, discussing themes that have emerged during the lectures around the country as well as highlighting areas of her own practice and research.

Read Bisi’s blog of her trip to the United States here.

May 9, 2010

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
4-6 pm
Google map


Bisi Silva

Bisi Silva co-curated The Progress of Love, a transcontinental collaboration between the Menil Collection, Houston; Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Missouri; and CCA, Lagos (2012–13), J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2011); and the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece; Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty (2009). She was one of the curators for the Dak’Art Biennale, Senegal (2006). A frequent participant in international conferences and symposia, Silva has published in journals and art magazines including Artforum, Third Text, The Exhibitionist, and Art South Africa. Most recently, she edited the comprehensive monograph, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere published by CCA, Lagos (2014). Bisi Silva sits on the editorial/advisory boards of Art South Africa, N.Paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal, and ContemporaryAnd. Silva was a member of the international jury for the Pinchuk Art Centre’s Future Generation Art Prize (2014), as well as the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Silva was recently appointed artistic director 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of Photography (2015).

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