Decolonial Interventions in Western Art Institutions

Thursday, 14 November 2019, 2-4 pm

Workshop by Kathy-Ann Tan

Decolonial interventions, resistance and self-empowerment in art & performance, especially for queer of color bodies, in dominantly white western art institutions.

In a global moment where intersectional forms of systemic oppression and social injustice are enacting neo-colonial forms of governmentality, subjugation and control over queer of color bodies, decolonial strategies of resistance and self-empowerment in/through art and performance are ever more imperative.

This workshop will discuss and expand upon decolonial artistic and curatorial practices that are anchored in body practice. We will spend time with concepts from queer of color critique including what Emma Pérez calls “sitio y lengua” (space and language/site and discourse) and the uses of the erotic (Audre Lorde), but we will also engage more broadly with notions of identity, home and belonging.

We will use these as points of departure for creating a space for discussion within the western art academy where anti-colonial narratives can be collectively composed and articulated by the body as a living archive of tacit knowledge, resistance and self-empowerment.

Within the spaces of the dominantly white art academy, how can one develop a critical practice that challenges whiteness as the unmarked given?

How can body-based artistic practices be activated that reject dominant western systems of representation, foregrounding instead modes of re-inscribing ways of life that were devalued by colonial and imperialist agendas?

How can visual art and performance center the body archive as a potential weapon/tool of decolonial practice in western contexts?

Kathy-Ann Tan

Kathy-Ann Tan is a Berlin-based curator, writer and independent scholar of the visual arts and performance, postcolonial and decolonial theory, critical diversity and gender/queer studies. She is interested in alternative models of art dissemination, exhibition-m

aking and institution-building that are attuned to issues of social justice in the contemporary moment.

Her ongoing project on decolonial aesthetics aims to collaboratively build a forum for artists and curators to develop ways of interrogating colonial narratives and countering neo-colonial forms of domination and control. As a former full-time academic, she has extensive experience in teaching, research, publishing and public speaking. Kathy-Ann also teaches at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies, and is currently pursuing an MA in Curatorial Practice at University of Bergen, Norway (2019–2021).

The admission free, an email registration is preferred (