Bisi Silva

Bisi Silva

A traveling conversation series in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas
May 1, 2010

ICI (Independent Curators International) has developed its first touring curatorial conversation with Bisi Silva, an independent curator and the founder/director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Throughout May, Silva will participate in a series of public lectures, panel discussions, and conversations across the U.S., including Chicago, Houston, New York, Williamstown, MA, and Newark, NJ.

The conversation series will explore the growing impact of transnational practice, using Silva’s extensive curatorial experiences across Africa, Asia, and Europe as a starting point for discussion. Looking at the potential for new dynamic forms of exhibition-making and cultural exchange, Silva will present her research into artists, as well as respond to questions posed on the subjects of the expansion of curatorial networks and emerging collaborative institutional models around the world.

Organized as part of ICI’s new programming initiatives that provide a platform for innovative curators to directly connect with diverse publics, this conversation series will be Silva’s first visit to the United States in over a decade. ICI’s executive director Kate Fowle will moderate the conversations and each event will be recorded, so that transcripts and edited video footage can be made available on ICI’s website.

Conversation Series Tour

May 1, 2010
5-6:30 pm
Beyond the White Cube II: International Networks
NEXT Talk Shop, 7th Floor
Converge Curators Forum, Art Chicago
Chicago, IL

How can the expansion of curatorial networks and collaborative practice between institutions internationally start to build the potential for new forms of exhibitions and exchange? How are practitioners re-thinking and re-defining their roles? Moderated by Kate Fowle, Executive Director of ICI (Independent Curators International), panelists include João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston; Abigail Satinsky, Co-director, InCUBATE, Chicago; and Bisi Silva.

May 5, 2010
6:30-8:30 pm
MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts)
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY

MoCADA, Independent Curators International and the Museum for African Art are partnering together to bring Bisi Silva to Brooklyn! Bisi Silva is an internationally acclaimed curator, art critic and, more recently, the founder and director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Silva will speak about her history as a curator, past, present and future, her journey starting the CAA and will highlight artists she has been working with in Nigeria and throughout the continent.  Following will be a roundtable discussion between Ms. Silva, Lisa Binder, Assistant Curator at Museum for African Art and Kimberli Gant, Exhibitions Director at MoCADA on the role of curators in developing African and African Diasporan artists.

May 6, 2010
5:30-7 pm
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA

In conversation with Natasha Becker, Mellon Assistant Director of Research and Academic Program, Bisi Silva will continue her dialogue on transnational curatorial practices and current research areas.

May 7, 2010
6-7 pm
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ

Newark Museum curator Christa Clarke and Bisi Silva discuss issues of curatorial practice in conjunction with the opening of a new gallery devoted to contemporary arts of Africa from the Museum’s permanent collection, the first such gallery in the country.

May 9, 2010
4-6 pm
The Curator’s Perspective with Bisi Silva
New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY

Bisi Silva will present at ICI’s The Curator’s Perspecitve, an itinerant public discussion series, featuring an international curator who distills current happenings in contemporary art including the artists they are excited by, exhibitions that have made them think, and their views on recent developments in the art world.

May 10, 2010
8 pm
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross Street
Houston, TX

Bisi Silva wraps up her conversation series at the Menil Collection with curator Kristina Van Dyke, discussing themes that have emerged during the lectures around the country as well as highlighting areas of her own practice and research.

About Bisi Silva

Bisi Silva is an independent curator and the founder/director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos), which opened in December 2007. She was co-curator of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece, Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty (September 2009), as well as Maputo: A tale of One City (February 2009). In 2008 she was co-selector with Portuguese curator Isabel Carlos for the international Artists’ Prize, Artes Mundi 3.  In 2007 Silva co-curated Contact Zone: Contemporary Art from West and North Africa at the National Museum of Mali, as well as Telling… Contemporary Finnish photography at the 7th African photography biennale in Bamako. As director of CCA, Lagos, she has curated Fela, Ghariokwu Lemi and The Art of the Album Cover (2007); Ndidi Dike, Waka-into-bondage:The Last ¾ Mile (2008) and George Osodi, Paradise Lost: Revisiting the Niger Delta (2008) as well as ‘Like A Virgin…’, Lucy Azubuike (NIG) and Zanele Muholi (SA) (2009).  In 2006 Silva co-curated the Dakar Biennale in Senegal.  Other recent curatorial projects include In the Light of Play at Durban Art Gallery and Johannesburg Art Fair (March/April 2009) and Chance Encounters, Seven Contemporary Artists from Africa at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India (April/May 2009) and Sakshi Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (Aug/Oct 2009). Silva has written for international art magazines and journals such as Artforum,, Art Monthly, Untitled, Third Text, M Metropolis, Agufon, and for Nigerian newspapers such as ThisDay and 234Next. She is on the editorial board of N Paradoxa, an international feminist art journal.

Read Bisi’s blog of her trip to the United States here.

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