SOAS & Sotheby’s Institute of Art present Artist’s Talk: Hassan Musa

Artist’s statement: Trauma business

When I was in Sudan I was an artist, but when I came to live in France I became an « African artist ». I witnessed the daily evolution of the European political dynamics that re-created the contemporary African art as the globalized version of « l’art Nègre ».

If you want, as an artist, to be part of the grand events celebrating African culture that take place every season in western cities, you have to satisfy a certain number of conditions. First, be born somewhere in Africa, preferably in black Africa. Secondly, be accessible, indeed, live somewhere from which, geographically, it is easy to get to the event. Africa is just too far away! If you do not meet the two conditions mentioned above, you can still have a chance to participate, if your skin is black, as is the case with American, French or British blacks, the so-called blacks of the “African Diaspora.” So, in my role as an African creative person, black and “diasporized” in Europe, l was able to take part in several big European events devoted to the contemporary art of Africans. But, to tell the truth, I never found myself a comfortable place in the big ship of contemporary African art. I feel like a stowaway passenger.

May be because I never had a good trauma story to tell. All the good tales about identity, racism, diaspora, clash of civilizations or queer oppression were already taken. Finally I found the “artist” trauma. It is not a very efficient one but I am working on it.

Chair: Dr Charles Gore (SOAS, School of Arts)

The event is followed by a drink reception

About the Artist

Hassan Musa is a visual artist and writer. He studied painting in Khartoum School of Fine and Applied Arts, graduated in 1974 and obtained a doctorate in Art History from the University of Montpellier (France) in 1989.

Since the seventies, his art works has been exhibited around the world.

Musa’s recent solo exhibitions : “The chicken conspiracy”, Gallery of African Art.

When: Thu 24 January 2019 18:00 – 20:00 GMT  Where:  Sotheby’s Institute of Art 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE

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