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"Universalism at Stake"
2005-07-26 until 2005-09-24
UK United Kingdom
Universalism at Stake presents work by 12 contemporary artists which developed out of a series of residencies in Senegal in 2004. The installations, drawings, videos and photographs that make up Universalism at Stake are presented for the first time in the UK at SPACEX as part of Africa '05. Artists included are Muhsana Ali, Maria Thereza Alves, Taysir Batniji, Jack Beng-Thi,
Jimmie Durham, Marie-Noëlle Boutin, Maxence Denis, Angela Ferreira,
Kan-si, Ludovic Linard, Myriam Mihindou and Anri Sala
The overall theme of the project was to respond to the question of 'universalism' as set out by the late Léopold Senghor, the distinguished poet and President of Senegalese independence, member of the UN Human Rights Commission and founder of the African Human Rights Charter. Artists were invited from around the world (Senegal, Gabon, Mozambique, France, Albania, USA, Brazil, Haiti, Palestine, La Réunion) to work together for a period of weeks in Joal-Fadiouth, Sengho's birthplace and one of the first European trading posts in West Africa.
The result is a series of fascinating reflections upon questions of universalism and intercultural relations, marked by the personal history of each artist and inspired by the reading of Senghor's texts. The principle of universalism, Senghor argued, was a necessity of the de-colonisation process, due to the growing economic interdependence of countries. In the current ideological context of globalized exchange, this project was an opportunity to re-visit the issue of universality once again.
Commissioned by Face à Face, Paris, Curated by Marie-Thérèse Champesme