> > > Black Arts and Modernism: Boyce and Lok speakers at Now & Then, Here & There

Boyce and Lok speakers at Now & Then, Here & There
6-8 Oct 2016, Chelsea College of Arts and Tate Britain

Boyce and Lok speakers at Now & Then, Here & There

Black Artists and Modernism conference and exhibition 2016


Dates & Locations
Thursday 6 Oct (Keynote & Exhibition Opening), Chelsea College of Arts
Friday 07 Oct & Saturday 08 Oct, Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium

BOOK NOW £65 Full Price / £35 Discount

This two-day conference will address the understated connections and points of contention between Black-British artists’ practice and the work of art’s relationship to Modernism.

An urge to reassess the legacies of Black-British artist’ practice in the twentieth century brings critical issues to the fore. In this conference, key questions will be addressed: How do artists of African and Asian descent in Britain feature in the story of twentieth century art? How do we come to know the work of art? Conversely, how do we come to forget the work of art?

The keynote address will be given by Professor Kobena Mercer, Professor of History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Mercer’s recent work, Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices Since the 1980s (Duke University Press, 2016), provides the ground for conference discussion. In that work, Mercer argues that there has been an over-emphasis on ethnicity and identity politics in the work of Black artists. This has meant that attention has been shifted away from the actual artwork that they have produced. The conference will provide an opportunity to explore more fully the claims that an art historical amnesia prevails in relation to Black-British art. Does such amnesia amount to a forgetting of artistic objects? Has a re-statement of social issues been a distraction away from aesthetic concerns?

Conference debates will touch on: art practice, curatorial studies, critical writing, documentary studies, art history and museology. Events will take place across Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, within London’s Millbank cultural quarter.

Conference activity will include exhibition visits to: ‘Now! Now!’ (curated by Sonia Boyce at the Cookhouse Gallery)



Nick Aikens
Prof. Sonia Boyce
Dr Rizvana Bradley
Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton
Dr David Dibosa
Maria Fusco
Dr Rachel Garfield
Prof. Paul Goodwin
Prof. Isaac Julien
Permindar Kaur
Dr susan pui san lok
Dr Courtney J Martin
Sandy Nairne
Dr Dorothy Price
Prof. Courtney J. Martin
Prof. Kobena Mercer (Keynote)
Vong Phaophonit and Claire Oboussier
Dr Elizabeth Robles
Prof. Irit Rogoff
Dr Lucy Steeds
Zoe Whitley


Day One Thursday 6 October
Exhibition Opening: ‘Now! Now! In more than one place’
Cookhouse & Triangle, Chelsea College of Arts
Keynote Address: Prof. Kobena Mercer
Lecture Theatre, Chelsea College of Arts

Day Two Friday 7 October
Session 1: Modernism
Session 2: Artists’ Practices
Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain

Day Three Saturday 8 October
Session 3: Narrating Museums and Curating Collections
Session 4: Critical Vocabularies
Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain