Reframing the Moment


    map Delegate Pack
  Registration Tea/Coffee
  Welcome & Introductions
  Kobena Mercer: Keynote


Mapping the BLK Art Group into a diasporic model of art history by looking at ‘translations’ of US Black Arts Movement ideas and the prevalence of a cut-and-mix aesthetic


  RAIDING THE ARCHIVE: introduced and moderated by Paul Goodwin

Keith Piper    Pathways to the 1980s
In a video-essay first presented as work in progress at the February 2012 Blk Art Group Symposium, Keith Piper will present a brief history of the Blk Art Group and discuss the socio-political moment of 1980s that heralded the cultural explosion of UK born and educated black artists

Courtney J Martin Art and black consciousness                                                  
In 1982, Rasheed Araeen was invited by the Wolverhampton Young Black Artists to speak at the First National Black Art Convention in Wolverhampton.  Araeen’s theory of an all-encompassing political black art was tested against other proposals for art as he engaged the audience with his paper, “Art & Black Consciousness.”  The paper advocated a confrontational, post-colonial approach to art that was both criticized and supported by various convention attendees.  Perhaps his staunchest critic was the painter, Frank Bowling, who, recently returned to London from New York, took offence at the suggestion of black art by any definition or parameter.  My paper will frame their conversation throughout the Convention and its relevance for a generation of artists and debates in contemporary art. 
Anjalie Dalal-Clayton Black Skin/Bluecoat: Revelations from the Archive
This paper investigates for the first time the critical exhibition history of Black Skin/Bluecoat, which took place at the Bluecoat (Liverpool) in 1985 and showed work by Sonia Boyce, Eddie Chambers, Tam Joseph and Keith Piper. The exhibition was a significant site for the assertion of positions that had been held by the Blk Art Group and the exploration of some of the (then) emerging debates of the ‘Black Art Movement’, but it has, until now, been overlooked in their historiography.

  Lunch: The Lighthouse
  ARTWORKS: introduced and moderated by Marlene Smith

Sonia Boyce  Rip it up and start again
This talk will look at the ambivalent relationship between black art and modernism via an art work by Eddie Chambers. Destruction of the National Front is now considered as heralding the emergence of a raised-in-Britain generation of African and Asian artists that energised the British art scene in the 1980s.

Rina Arya     Auto Portraits in the work of Chila Burman
In this paper I want to discuss the works of Chila Burman.  In particular I would like to look at her auto-portraits, which in their simplest form constitute statements of unveiling where Burman is making her identity known. The self-portrait was widely used by black British artists to address the politics of identity and representation.  It can be conceived of as an assertion of identity in the face of the threat of objectification; it is the most immediate act of naming. 

Ella Spencer    Maud Sulter: Zabat, Poetics of a Family Tree 
Maud Sulter’s photographs and photocollages seek out black women lost from history and absent from the archives;  ‘Putting black women back into the centre of the frame’ as Sulter puts it.  The voids in their narratives force Sulter to  imagine the histories of  black women.  Playing with representation, the ambiguities of fact and fiction, history and myth, Sulter complicates their stories and our chronologies of knowledge.
Amna Malik   Re-conceptualising  Black British Art through the Lens of Exile.
The work of Gavin Jantjes, Mona Hatoum and Mitra Tabrizian was part of the interventions concerning race, identity and belonging in the 1980s but also made by artists whose practices could equally be engaged with the condition of exile. This paper considers how Edward Said's essay 'Reflections on Exile' (1990) might be mobilised to analyse their work. 


REASONING: For the Plenary convened by Paul Goodwin, presenters from
earlier sessions will join a panel of Conference Respondents: David Dibosa, Lubaina Himid, Roshini Kempadoo and Shaheen Merali, to review the day's themes and discussions.

Closing Remarks
Mark Sealy, curator and Director of conference partners, Autograph ABP will close the conference and introduce part four.


Complimentary bus service to MAC for a drinks reception and special viewing of By The Rivers Of Birminam the first major retrospective of the work of documentary photographer, Vanley Burke.


After conference party, location tbc.