Radical Revisionists: Exhibition At Moody Center Features Afro-Centric Focus

by Christopher Blay November 16, 2019
art by Omar Victor Diop at the moody center in Houston Texas

Omar Victor Diop, Jean-Baptiste Belley, 2014, Diaspora Series, © Omar Victor Diop, Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

In the new year, Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston will present Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present. Opening Friday, January 24, the show will feature artists from Africa and the African Diaspora whose focus is the problematic Eurocentric tropes of race, representation and the colonial past.

Radical Revisionists will feature artists Sammy Baloji, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Omar Victor Diop, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Zanele Muholi, Robin Rhode, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mary Sibande, and Pascale Marthine Tayou.  Alison Weaver, The Moody Center’s Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director who announced the exhibition, states, “We look forward to engaging with these timely and provocative topics, concurrently with the University’s broader initiatives in the areas of African and African American studies.”


Moody Center for the Arts.

The Brown Foundation Gallery will feature photographs by Sammy Baloji, Omar Victor Diop, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Zanele Muholi, and Robin Rhode, as well as sculptures by Yinka Shonibare CBE, and mixed-media work by Pascale Marthine Tayou. A new Moody-commissioned, site-specific installation by Attukwei Clottey will be on view in the central gallery, while a virtual reality installation by Mary Sibande will be presented in the Media Gallery. A work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby will be installed on the façade of the Moody building.

During the exhibition, Moody’s Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence will be Robin Rhode, whose work is informed by his youth in a newly post-apartheid South Africa and includes elements of hip-hop and film. As the spring season artist-in-residence, Rhode will spend several weeks in Houston engaging with both the campus and the broader Houston community.

The exhibition is co-curated by independent scholar Rachel Kabukala, Alison Weaver and Associate Curator Frauke V. Josenhans. Kabukala says, “Radical Revisionists invites us to acknowledge and investigate our shared colonial past through the work of influential artists who are addressing the violent erasure of marginalized histories and reinterpreting familiar themes through contemporary, Afrocentric lenses.”

Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present will open Friday, January 24 with a free public reception that day from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., and will be on view through May 16, 2020. Scheduled throughout the season in conjunction with the exhibition will be programs featuring panel discussions between artists and historians, dance and music, and film screenings. The Moody’s annual public Spring Fling concert will be Friday, February 28.

This exhibition is made possible by the Moody Center for the Arts Founder’s Circle with additional support from the Moody Foundation and the Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence fund.

For more on Radical Revisionists, please go here.

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