Barby Asante and Christine Eyene in conversation

Barby Asante and Christine Eyene will be in conversation on the relation between music, cultural heritage and urban cultures in their respective practices.

Barby Asante is a London-based artist and curator. Her work aims to stimulate dialogue around the cross-cultural and multicultural and how we view and frame these questions in contemporary Britain, often using familiar or popular culture triggers as a means to begin the dialogue. Asante has been working on projects exploring music and its cultural and social significance, with particular emphasis on black music and its importance in the creation of a post-war British cultural identity. Projects include the Funk Chorus, a non-professional choir with a Funk repertoire (South London Gallery, 2006); Barby’s Karaoke (Studio Voltaire, 2009), a karaoke DVD made with Caribbean Elders group Stockwell Good Neighbours and Bamboo Memories (Picture This, 2009) and a film piece made with people from Bristol reflecting on Bristol’s first black music nightclub.
More recently she has turned her focus on working with young people exploring how their voices are heard in society, including the Noise Summit commissioned by SLG, working with school-aged children who live on an estate in South London, exploring their relationship to noise, making noise and having their voices heard in public space and Baldwin’s Nigger RELOADED a project with the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective that reflects on the contemporary relevance of Horace Ove’s 1968 film documenting James Baldwin’s visit that year to the West Indian Student Centre.

Christine Eyene is based in London and Preston. She is an art writer, independent curator, and Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. Her writing and curatorial practice encompass the fields of contemporary African and Diaspora arts, gender-related topics, design, immaterial art practices and sound. She has curated exhibitions in the UK and internationally including Embodied Spaces, Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2015); Residual: Traces of the Black Body, New Art Exchange as part of FORMAT International Photography Festival, Nottingham (2015), Basket Case II (with Raphael Chikukwa) National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare and Bulawayo (2014-2015); La Parole aux Femmes, Fondation Blachère, Apt (2014-2015); WHERE WE’RE AT! Other Voices on Gender, BOZAR, Brussels (2014); Thierry Geoffroy: Mobile Emergency Room at the 2nd Zimbabwe Pavilion (curated by Raphael Chikukwa), Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2012); Photoquai Biennale, Paris (2011), Brighton Photo Fringe as part of Brighton Photo Biennial (2010).

Eyene is guest curator of David Roberts Art Foundation Curators’ Series # 8 with the exhibition All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm. The project draws from the cultural heritage of Cameroon’s Bikutsi music and dance, and explores notions of rhythm through visual arts, poetry, sound, music and dance.

Curators’ Series #8 is supported by Arts Council England and The African Arts Trust 

Image: Zak Ové, The Upsetters (King and Queen) (detail), 2013. Photo: Tim Bowditch.


Barby Asante and Christine Eyene in conversation
Thurs 23 Jul, 6.30pm
Free, no booking required

David Roberts Art Foundation
Symes Mews
London NW1 7JE
T: +44 020 7383 3004

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