The Village Voice has published a review of the Négritude exhibit at Exit Art in New York City. Here are some excerpts from the piece—with some intriguing ideas for considering post-Négritude in the African diaspora—and a link to the complete review:
Exit Art’s Négritude—a scattershot hodgepodge of art, text, film, video, and performance—doesn’t take sides. Instead, it approaches the term poetically as an “archipelago” with “many ‘islands,’ or perspectives.” But it also falls into what might be called the proto-exhibition category: not terribly satisfying on its own, but providing the impetus for someone, somewhere, to organize a more comprehensive one. (Particularly since artists and curators like Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum of Harlem have bandied about another, more contemporary-sounding term: Post-Black.)
Négritude is framed as an “experimental multidisciplinary exhibition,” which means it’s purposefully not comprehensive, and, given the changing lineup of films and video, the show you see might be slightly different than the one I saw. It’s got an impressive roster of curators, recruited by Exit Art’s Papo Colo: longtime Voice writer Greg Tate; curator Franklin Sirmans; Brazilian filmmaker Tania Cypriano; and Rose Réjouis, a scholar who co-translated Patrick Chamoiseau’s epic novel about colonial Martinique, Texaco (1993). . . .
In many ways, Négritude, like many shows at Exit Art, takes you back to the early ’90s and that era’s concept-heavy exhibitions revolving around identity politics and generous doses of installation art. But with one essential difference: the ambivalence of the present. Is négritude viable or historically spent? The show at Exit Art is freewheeling (and unrigorous) enough to support either view. Literature, for its part, has already spawned a new term for writing of the African diaspora: “migritude.” Maybe next year will bring us Migritude, the exhibition.
For the full review go to http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-06-03/art/negritude-encore/