Eddie Chambers, World is Africa: Writings on Diaspora Art, Bloomsbury, 2021

Now published


The following, from https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/world-is-africa-9781350140332/

World is Africa: Writings on Diaspora Art brings together more than 30 important texts by Eddie Chambers, who for several decades has been an original and a critical voice within the field of African diaspora art history. The texts range from book chapters and catalogue essays, to shorter texts including an op-ed and an afterword. Chambers focuses on contemporary artists and their practices, from a range of international locations, who for the most part are identified with the African diaspora. The book will be a valuable and important contribution to the emerging discipline of black British art history in particular, as well as the broader field of African diaspora studies. None of the texts brought together are available online and none of them, until now, have been available outside of the original publication in which they first appeared.

The volume contains several substantive new pieces of writing, one of which reflects on the patronage of the Greater London Council (GLC) extended to a number of Black artists in 1980s London. Another text considers the art world 'fetishisation' of the 1980s as the latest manifestation of a field reluctant to accept the majority of Black British artists as valid individual practitioners in their own right. Another new text introduces readers to the little-known record sleeve and book jacket illustrations of Charles White, the American artist who was the subject of a major retrospective in 2018 at major galleries across the US – Museum of Modern Art, NYC, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The other new text re-examines the 'map paintings' of Frank Bowling, the Guyana-born artist who was the subject of a major retrospective at Tate Britain. Chambers provides a compelling commentary on work by a number of important artists, written at various stages of their careers.

Together, the range of texts in World is Africa amount to a convincing and engaging overview of rarely-considered narratives relating to artists of the Africa diaspora. As such, the book will be a valuable and important contribution to the emerging discipline of black British art history in particular, as well as the broader field of African diaspora studies and African diaspora art history.


Table of contents as follows:

List of Illustrations
Foreword, Patricia Bickers (Editor of Art Monthly)

Section I: On Art History, Institutions, and Academia
Introduction to Section I
1. The Harmful Consequences of Postblack
2. Africa 05: Polemic
3. Dead Artists' Society
4. Black Artists and the Fetishisation of the 1980s
5. Black British Artists and Problems of Systemic Invisibility and Eradication: Creating Exhibition Histories of That Which Is Not There
6. Framing Black Art

Section II: History and Identity
Introduction to Section II
7. 'Handsworth Songs' and the Archival Image 10 Black British and Other African Diaspora Artists Visualising Slavery
8. 2000's Got to be Black
9. Next We Change Earth
10. Keith Piper, Donald Rodney and the Artists' Response to the Archive
11. Black British Photography

Section III: On Artists
Introduction to Section III
12. Sokari Douglas Camp CBE
13. William Kentridge: The Main Complaint
14. Hurvin Anderson: Double consciousness
15. Jonathan Jones: untitled (the tyranny of distance)
16. Vanley Burke: An Inglan Story, An Inglan History
17. Helen Wilson: Painting for a Brighter Future
18. Barbara Walker: Private Face
19. Barbara Walker: It's a Bit Much
20. Reviewpiece: Ajamu & Sunil Gupta
21. Pat Ward Williams: Isolated Incidents
22. Donald Rodney: Three Songs on Pain Light & Time
23. Ben Jones: In the Spirit, In the Flesh
24. Frank Bowling and the Enigma of Guyana
25. Charles White's 10- and 12- Inch Vinyl Messages
26. Hew Locke's Depictions of Royalty

Section IV: Black Artists in History
Introduction to Section IV
27. Independence and Cultural Nationalism in Caribbean Art
28. Black Artists and the Greater London Council
29. Art and Society, Jonathan Greenland interview with Eddie Chambers

Section V: Criticize
Introduction to Section V
30. Contemporary Art or Contemporary African Art?: The Inevitable Death of the Latter
31. Richard Hylton, The Nature of the Beast: Cultural Diversity and the Visual Arts Sector: A Study of Policies, Initiatives and Attitudes 1976 – 2006: Afterword
32. Elvan Zabunyan, Black is a Color (A History of African American Art): Book review
33. “Black My Story, (Museum de Paviljoens, Netherlands, 2003): Book review
34. Criticize: Press Responses to Black Art an' done and The Pan-Afrikan Connection exhibitions

Section VI: Outernational
Introduction to Section VI
35. Àsìkò Goes Outernational
36. Jamaica Goes Outernational