Events in conjunction with Malian Portrait Photography and Photo-Rapide: François Deschamps

Co-sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz Honors Program

Mali in Transition: Malian Art, Artists, and Politics Symposium

Saturday, March 9, 1–4 pm
(Dorsky Museum and Lecture Center 108)

1 pm: Curator's Gallery Walk-Through of Malian Portrait Photography and Photo-Rapide: François Deschamps
(Dorsky Museum, Chandler Gallery)

Daniel M. Leers is an independent curator based in New York City. Leers graduated with a BA in Art History from Lawrence University and an MA in Art History/Curatorial Studies from Columbia University. From 2007-2011 he was the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. During his tenure at MoMA, Leers worked on a variety of exhibitions and organized the exhibitionNew Photography 2011: Moyra Davey, George Georgiou, Deana Lawson, Doug Rickard, Viviane Sassen, Zhang Dali. Currently, Leers is acting as a Curatorial Advisor to the 2013 Venice Biennale.

2 pm: "Picturing Identity: Understanding Portraiture by Malick Sibide" Candace Keller

(Lecture Center 108)

candace keller

Assistant Professor of Art History at Michigan State University, Candace Keller earned MA and PhD degrees from the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, where she majored in African art (including contemporary African art and photography) and minored in African Studies and African American art. Her research focuses on the history of photography in Africa, particularly in Mali, with an emphasis on local theoretical perspectives and aesthetics. Along with her passion for teaching and learning, two fundamental forces drive Candace's instructional pursuits: the desire to promote respect for intellectual and cultural diversity and variant life views, and the will to bring the rich complexities of African art, culture, and theoretical ideas to Western audiences. Her research and courses center on issues of identity, personhood, and complex agency; globalization and the flow of material culture; nationalism and post-colonialism; and the power of art and aesthetics in international contexts.

2:45 pm: "UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mali" Janet Goldner
(Lecture Center 108)

 janet goldner

NYC-based artist Janet Goldner was born to a family of political activists and grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, immersed in the social and political issues of the 1960's. The evolution of her sculpture traces her enduring exploration of sculptural form, her ongoing relationship with African culture, and her lifelong involvement in political activism.

Goldner began her career as a fiber artist. She pushed fiber beyond its traditional two-dimensions, creating three-dimensional works that emphasized shape and texture and became interested in wire mesh as a visual element, rather than as armature and began to make metal her primary material. Feminist concerns can be seen in the female torso-shaped steel vessels on which she draw and writes as well as other works.

During her 20s, Goldner began what has become a life-long relationship with Africa, especially Mali. She has worked with many Malian women artist friends to help exhibit their works and to seek support and encouragement from each other using the model of women artist support groups.

3:30 pm: "Why Is Mali Important?," Panel Discussion
(Lecture Center 108)

François Deschamps, Candace Keller, Dan Leers, Janet Goldner (Moderator)

deschamps painting

François Deschamps teaches photography and related media at the State University of New York in New Paltz. He is a photographer and book artist whose work involves travel and the relationship between cultures. He has produced artists' books published by the Visual Studies Workshop, Nexus Press, and the University of Auckland. Photographs and books are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as two individual artist fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2002, he was awarded a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Mali, Africa, for 2010-11.

Photo-Rapide takes place in Mali in 2010-11. Photographers are said to take photographs. This project seeks to reverse this notion by giving instead of taking photographs. Deschamps offers to make a photographic portrait that he prints on the spot. He thinks of the subject as a collaborator and client whom he must please. Together they examine the image files on the camera back and discuss how they want to be represented. In the end, the image the client likes is picked—not always the Deschamps' choice. The client then chooses from a selection of some 100 card "frames" Deschamps has made based on Malian objects and themes. The print is adhered to that card frame. The procedure of creating this shared image is documented by photographing the client holding the framed image. At the conclusion, the client is handed the print in a rubber-stamped envelope.


West African Music in Concert
Tuesday, April 9, 5 pm
(Chandler Gallery, Dorsky Museum)

sissouko dioubate

West African concert featuring music played by Yacouba Sissoko, a Master kora player from the Djely griot tradition, with Famoro Dioubate on the Mandeng balafon.

Yacouba Sissoko is a Master Kora player from the Djely griot tradition. As such he is member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling. Born in Kita, Mali, his grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 12 years old. Samakoun's wife Bintouba Diabate was a famous singer in her own right. They raised Yacouba and educated him in his griot heritage.

He is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, playing with jazz, Latin and R & B bands as well as traditional African ceremonies. As leader of his own band, Siya, and member of the group Super Mande, Yacouba continues to record with many famous musicians, including the groups Source, Tamalalou and Fula Flute.

Famoro Dioubate was born in Conakry, Guinea to a griot family. He is the grandson of El Hadj Djelli Sory Kouyate, a living legend of the Mandeng balafon. During his teens he spent a five years in Abidjan and worked with Cheik Smith-Sherif and Sekou Camara Cobra. Back in Conakry he co-founded "Les Heritiers" with Sekouba Kandia Kouyate and recorded the albums "Kandia Dinke" and "Nyoumekela" with this group. Concurrently, he was the understudy of his grandfather in the Ensemble Instrumental National and routinely performed for the President and visiting foreign dignitaries. He was a member of Mory Kante's orchestra for the performances and recording of the "Traditional Symphonie." In the early nineties, he was a member of the "Groupe Standard" which accompanied most of the visiting great stars of African music in Guinea. In the United States since the late nineties, he has worked as a free-lance musician for a variety of groups and dance companies in performances and recordings.


Featured Exhibitions

Russel Wright: The Nature of Design
August 29 — December 16, 2012
January 23 — March 10, 2013

Malian Portrait Photography
January 23 – April 14, 2013 at The Dorsky

The Dorsky Collects: Recent Acquisitions 2008-2012
January 23 – June 23, 2013
**(Closed 3/23 – 4/12, 2013)

If you are a person with a disability who will require special accommodations please contact Amy Pickering at 845.257.3844
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