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Bardhan, Rachel Lucy (2000) "It's rude to interrupt when someone is speaking": Africa95 and the Pamoja International Sculpture Workshop. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029009

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Abstract

My research explores the notion of 'art as process' and 'exhibition as process' by examining the difficulties which an inter-disciplinary and international group of individuals encounter, when attempting to put into practice contemporary theory surrounding the politics of representation. The research examines the creation (initiation and implementation) of the africa95 visual arts programme. which was staged in Britain in 1995 as part of africa95: A Season Celebrating the Arts of Africa, and within that, the africa95 Pamoja International Sculpture Workshop, held at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The focus of the research is the case study of twenty sculptors and one photographer, who participated within the Pamoja Workshop, with particular attention being given to the Makonde sculptress Reinata Sadhimba. This reveals how the contexts in which these artists found themselves - 'context of creation' or 'context of exhibition' - directly affected how they presented themselves and their work. The credibility of the artist-author is paramount. It is the significance of this credibility that lies at the heart of my thesis. The case study suggests, first, that the Pamoja artists spoke most freely about their lives and work within their own creational context at the workshop - while they were making their work - rather than within the presentational contexts provided by the africa9S VAP - exhibitions, slide shows, conferences. Second, the artists' preferred mode of communication was narrative, through which they were able to express most fully their relationship with their work. Third, it was only after being aware of these narratives that any significant shift in perception began to take place within their audience. As I explain in the Introductory paragraphs on pages 11-17, I have chosen to set out the major sections of the case study in narrative form. I have also adapted the other sections to this style of presentation. This presentational device allows the artists' contributions to take the lead, whilst simultaneously acknowledging academic thought processes within the context of practice. The Pamoja sculptors - from eleven African countries, the USA and the UK - produced between them over 120 works during africa95. This paper is also a record of the substantial body of work, the majority of which has remained in Britain, and of the narratives with which the artists' described their individuality in this work.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029009
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:05
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29009

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