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manuel arturo abreu
Kevin Jerome Everson
Greg de Cuir Jr.
Mireille Ngosso
Morgan Quaintance
Carl Pope Jr.
Danielle Brathwaite Shirley
Paige Taul

During the two solo exhibitions by Kevin Jerome Everson and Doreen Garner (September 3 – November 14, 2021), the basement foyer before the exhibition gallery will become a Study Room with custom-made furniture for this purpose. The idea behind this format is to create a physical and discursive space that connects the two exhibitions, and for which artists and theorists have produced new content.

The Study Room is also accessible via the website of HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark as a virtual space making the contents presented on site in Graz available to a global audience. The Study Room is characterized by contributions of varying durations. While the works of manuel arturo abreu are available on site and in the virtual space for the entire duration of the exhibitions, there are other works that are available for shorter time periods, such as curated film series and the presentation of purely digital works on the website. The Study Room aims on the one hand to provide the space for the large amount of material available, all with direct points of reference to the two artists Kevin Jerome Everson and Doreen Garner. On the other hand, there are also contents that bring the local context into the discussion, addressing the conditions of black lives in Austria. This includes the contribution by Mireille Ngosso, politician and activist, who critically examines the myth that Austria had nothing to do with colonialism, as the country had no own colonies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Above all at the end of the nineteenth century, Austria had its own colonial business and trade relations that made it significantly involved in the exploitation of other countries.

By addressing these themes, impetus to a reassessment of the own history can be given. Gayatri Spivak, one of the most important founders of post-colonial feminism, writes about the right to speak of others from a position of privilege, noting that this must first be acquired by gaining and appropriating knowledge.1 For this, it is necessary to critically reflect the own position with reference to historical conditions. Many global institutions within and beyond the field of contemporary art are now in the process of this realization. The Study Room is a sign that this process is taking place and a marker of these discussions, and of the current status of our learning and results.

  1. ^ Gayatri Spivak, The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, New York: Routledge, 1990.


Cathrin Mayer

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