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Title: Imagining, tracing, experiencing, inhabiting, projecting : locating Afro artists as culturally native to the Dutch art world
Author: Landvreugd, Robert (Charl)
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6061
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2019
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Dutch Afro-awareness today is coinciding with the development of minority subjectivities redefining themselves against dominant culture. It is in line with this moment that this thesis works towards deciphering how Dutch Afro artists carve out a space in today's Dutch artistic landscape. The main challenge for the artists is dealing with the dominance of an art narrative that is heavily informed by American, British and World Art conceptions, which aligns their Afro-ness with foreignness and (political) Blackness. This means that even though Dutch Afro-ness is constructed differently than in the rest of the Diaspora, from the early 1980s to the late 2000s, the artist had to define their practices in relation to art critique, cultural policies and curatorial strategies that were developed on the basis of the aforementioned. Coming from this background, this thesis adds to a Diaspora understanding of how Afroness can work differently in a particular (Dutch) context. Through interviews, archive research, private conversations, and my personal experience as a Dutch Afro artist I work through these historical developments and their outcome today. As a result, the thesis questions the usefulness of the cultural notion of Black in the Dutch art world and in a broader context proposes using local concepts and words to describe the particularities of this artistic condition. A condition that harbours entitlement when it comes to being culturally native and reflection in the national self-image of non-racial equivalence. Looking at exhibition histories, curatorial approaches and Dutch Afro artistic agency, my approach is a conscious 'spiral retelling' that provokes Diaspora and Dutch understandings of Afro subjectivity in the visual arts. The research argues around the paradox of simultaneously becoming and refusing to be Black as it is understood in 20th century Diaspora. Researched, this artistic condition complements contemporary investigations and theorization on what it means to be European. This dissertation is a harbinger of research into the visual arts that challenges the existing (internal) borders of the union in this age of migration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W100 Fine Art