News | 2007


















2007-07-10 | The color line

Odila Donald Odita (former Thami Mnyele guest) curated the exhibition The color line, showing at Jack Shainman Galery New York from July 6 until August 3. Catalogue essay by N'Gon Fall. More info see below and at

The premise of color here is one of description. Color fills in the blank that is left open within a black and white format. Color describes the world in a more complex, if obvious way, and yet the specificity of color can make this newfound complexity that much more alluring and mysterious. Questions become even greater in a world of color as there seems to be more to see, and more to choose.

The issue of color also becomes interestingly rich when the intellectual notion of aesthetics with culture merges in its wake. Aesthetic concerns adapt themselves quite well within a culture frame, as they qualify through narrative means the distinct character of particular histories and societal lines. The reaffirmation of these distinctions within a self can bring outward an understanding of the complexity of relations that weave together varying human experiences. The Color Line will look into the manifestations of culture as it comes to color. As previously stated, color in its descriptive state will also make reference to race in particular, as well as to culture and the aesthetic. This condition of multiplicity has always been inherent within color; it is now in these contemporary times that we can be freer to discuss these multiplicities without an impinging ideological/aesthetic censoring.

The relevance of this and other curatorial projects that I have
executed is the direct approach I take as an artist who curates with
collaboration and partnership in mind. In the 21st Century, it is
reassuring to understand that the role of the artist has become
multivalent in ways that now allow us to write, curate, and hold positions of power over our own art production and careers. The artist today has the power and the potential to make their position ring clear within a global and societal context. In this way, the artist can be better equipped to challenge standards of cultural presentation within an art market structure. It is also imperative that we are able to find new ways to move ourselves forward and face the continued challenges involved in growth, success and survival as a community. The acceptance and responsibility of self-power is just a first step. In this exhibition it will be seen that we can present our voices together as contemporary artists without the acrimony of an extremely divisive market place.

Thami Mnyele Foundation promotes the exchange of art and culture between Africa and the Netherlands.