Dr. Joseph Underwood Curates Traveling Exhibition About Senegal

Ibrahima Dieye, Cry For Help 2, 2018
Dr. Joseph Underwood, Assistant Professor of Art History, has curated an exhibition called The View From Here: Contemporary Perspectives From Senegal, which is traveling to multiple locations in the U.S. after its debut in Dakar in May.  Featuring work created since 2010, this exhibition offers a wide panorama of art practice from the perspective of artists—individuals who uncover aspects of their own identity as they reflect on contemporary life in Senegal. Collectively, their work acts as a portrait of how one African country can inspire creative minds, balancing universal questions with local characteristics.

"I was very excited to put together this exhibition in conjunction with the US Embassy in Senegal and debut it as part of the Dakar Biennale, given its long history in shaping contemporary art in Africa. I'm looking forward to bringing it to Kent State in January 2019 and seeing how the universal themes resonate with the different audiences here in Northeast Ohio. It's great for the artists, because a lot of new communities will experience their work, and it's great for the communities, who might be unfamiliar with dynamism of the global contemporary art scene," said Dr. Underwood.

This exhibition project presents an assemblage of artists who come from urban and rural spaces, who live in Senegal or have only passed through, who draw inspiration from the ideologies of the 1960s or who dissect the street parlance of today. With work across media—painting, photography, drawing, collage, installation, video, performance, and sous-verre (under glass)—the diversity of expression as evidenced by these artists is just a small glimpse of the dynamism taking place in the art worlds Africa and its Diaspora. Following its debut in the OFF program of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale (Dakar, Senegal) and its U.S. debut at the Wright Museum of Art (Beloit College), The View From Here: Contemporary Perspectives From Senegal will tour to the Center for the Visual Arts (Kent State University) and the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery (Stony Brook University) in 2019.

Joseph Underwood at the Wright Museum at Beloit College for The View From Here
Three art history students, Abby Hermosilla, Rachel Lieberman and Brooke Pandrea, assisted Underwood with curatorial work including writing and research.

"The experience allowed me to view work in curation from an insider perspective, giving a much larger viewpoint not only in the intricacies of curation, but also in the complexities apparent and opportunities available in the general process of an exhibition," said Pandrea.

Hermosilla, who is currently attending the School of the Art Institute in Chicago to earn her M.A. said,” Speaking with and writing about living artists, navigating exhibition spaces, and developing networks with other art and cultural institutions gave me the confidence to enter the professional world of curation as I pursue my Masters.”

Learn more about the exhibition on The View From Here website.

Images: Top - (From left to right) Rachel Ellett, Associate Professor of Political Science, Beloit College; Michelle Bumatay, Assistant Professor of French, Beloit College; Joseph Underwood; Josh Moore, Associate Director of the Office of International Education, Beloit College; Christa Story, Exhibitions Coordinator of the Wright Museum of Art, Beloit College; Painting: Camara Guèye, Diomaniaw, 2016, acrylic, india ink, and pencil on papers affixed to canvas, 208 cm x 157 cm

Center - Ibrahima Dieye, Cry For Help 2, 2018

Bottom - Joseph Underwood preparing for installation at the Wright Museum at Beloit College with Michelle Bumatay, Assistant Professor of French.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 11:06am
UPDATED: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 9:27am