Wake Forest University’s Hanes Gallery, under the direction of Paul Bright, is partnering with American artist Dread Scott and Cristin Tierney Gallery (NYC) on an installation for the 60th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, which will be held from April 20 through Nov. 24 in Venice, Italy.
Since 1895, the Venice Biennale has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. A celebration of art and architecture, the Biennale explores themes of politics and contemporary cultural and social issues through performance, sculpture and installations.
Scott’s installation, “All African People’s Consulate,” creates a functioning consulate for an imaginary Pan-African, Afrofuturist union of countries, promoting cultural and diplomatic relations. In the Consulate, visitors can apply for an All African People’s Community passport or visa. They will interview with Consulate staff, where they will discuss their relationship to Africa, their family history of migration, and more. For those of African descent, the Consulate facilitates their citizenship in this futurist, globalist community, presenting them with a personalized passport. Others receive a visa allowing them to visit.
Paul Bright, director of galleries and programming at Wake Forest University, is curating the All African People’s Consulate. The Consulate opens on the Grand Canal at Castello Gallery with previews on April 17, 18 and 19. Elements of this project will be part of a survey exhibition of Dread Scott’s work at Hanes Gallery on Wake Forest’s campus in 2025.
“I’m pleased to be working with Cristin Tierney Gallery and artist Dread Scott on this project as an official part of this year’s Venice Biennale,” said Bright. “Dread’s All African People’s Consulate is typical of his work in that it will deftly reverse a situation that we think we know or are familiar with to change our fundamental perceptions. Unlike the Western notion of a diplomatic office constricting movement and hindering access, the All African People’s Consulate will invite you in as a citizen or a visitor.”
The All African People’s Consulate project highlights collaboration as a mode of curating, one based on the close interaction of artist and curator, where the curator’s role is to primarily facilitate the process and support the artist, rather than to ‘expertly’ select objects for exhibition, Bright explains. “This approach reminds us that ‘curate’ derives from the Latin ‘cura” meaning ‘to take care of.’”
This special project is organized by Open Society Foundations and The Africa Center, with support from Cristin Tierney Gallery and Wake Forest University.
Scott was recently awarded the prestigious Abigail Cohen Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, and has previously received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Frieze Impact Prize, Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, and Creative Capital Foundation Grant. His studio is in Brooklyn, New York. Read more about Scott on the Cristin Tierney Gallery website. Tierney is a 1993 Wake Forest graduate.
About Paul Bright
Bright is the Director of Galleries and Programming at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (USA). He arrived at Wake Forest in 2004 and became the director of Hanes Art Gallery in 2012. As a university student, Bright studied printmaking and was employed as an art museum preparator and installer prior to his graduation from the University of South Carolina. Subsequently, he has occupied diverse roles within arts entities and museums: as an art exhibition designer and conservation technician in a multidisciplinary state museum; a history museum design and exhibitions director; a freelance graphic and exhibition designer; a university studio art instructor; and as an exhibition curator and gallery director.
Bright has organized or curated more than 17 exhibitions and performances in Italy since 2006, of his own and others’ works, including five originating with Hanes Gallery.
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