Patricia Kaersenhout, Objects of Love and Desire, 6 February – 24 March, 2019
Wilfried Lentz is proud to present Objects of Love and Desire, a solo exhibition by artist Patricia Kaersenhout (b. 1966, lives and works in Amsterdam). This exhibition shows Kaersenhout’s newest work, a series of large textile pieces; alongside work commissioned for Prospect.4 in New Orleans (US), shown for the first time in Europe.
The opening takes place on Thursday 7 February from 6–8pm and coincides with Grada Kilomba’s show Illusions Vol. 1 and Vol. II on the 4th floor. Both exhibitions run from 6 February (preview is a day earlier) until 24 March, 2019.
Please note: Extended opening times during Rotterdam Art Week: Wednesday and Thursday 6-7 February from 10am – 6pm. Subsequently, the gallery is open as usual, Friday through Sunday from 1pm–6pm and by appointment.
The artist is dedicating the show to Alanna Lockward (23/3/1961 – 7/1/2019)
Kaersenhout’s new banner works depict women in action, based on Chinese propaganda posters expressing the glorification of the proletariat, as was common in most communist countries. She shows these women as heroic figures, now depicting important black scholars, journalists, poets, activists of Caribbean descent, such as Uma Marson. These are figures who were active in the second half of the 20th century, but who have been forgotten or erased.
The position of these women, as good and noble persons, form a strong dialectical contrast with Kaersenhout’s work from Prospect: eight small, delicate portraits of typical 19th-century slave barons and trailblazers, depicted here as being harassed by insects, and veiled in fabric.
Kaersenhout’s artistic practice has long been inspired by black activism, a project she passionately identifies herself with. It is not only the legacy of the Dutch colonial period that is important for her work, she is also addresses current developments associated with migrants from Africa. Kaersenhout, herself from Surinamese descent, works across a wide range of media, and often collaborates with others, presenting performances and public art projects as well as studio work on view at the gallery. The reception of her work coincides with a political wave of emancipation among younger activists and artists of colour worldwide, and where the response is more and more one of recognition.
Recent solo exhibitions and performances include: Prospect.4 in New Orleans (US) and Manifesta 12 in Palermo (IT) (2018), gHoltegaard (DK) and Museum Arnhem (NL) (2017); Bell invites: Global Performance at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, BE.BOP at the Volksbühne Berlin, and Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven (NL) (2016); Biennale Dakar (SN) and Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2014); Queens Museum of Art, New York the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA), New York (2012)
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1. Born in Jamaica, Una Marson (1905-1965) rose to become an internationally famous feminist, poet, playwright, journalist, social activist and BBC broadcaster. Marson was a progressive intellectual with an incandescent intelligence whose ideas centred on women’s liberation, racial equality and cultural nationalism.
2. Solange Fitte-Duval (b.1921) is a pioneer of women’s emancipation and education in Martinique. During the Second World War, Fitte-Duval actively participated in the creation of the Women’s Union of Martinique, which fought for the creation of crèches (allowing women to exercise a professional activity as well as have children); campaigning for and achieving women’s suffrage, among other policies for the protection and benefit of women and children. Fitte-Duval has been a tireless activist for access to education, for the island’s path toward unity and a better future; for these efforts, a primary school in Fort-de-France bears her name.
3. A distinguished cultural anthropologist in her own right, Eslanda Goode Robeson (1896-1965) is also remembered as the wife and long-time business manager of singer/actor Paul Robeson Sr. Highly educated and cultured, she traveled widely in pursuit of her own career and that of her husband until the couple was effectively grounded by a passport revocation in the mid-1950s. They resumed their travels only after a Supreme Court decision in 1958 upheld the unconstitutionality of the unfounded restrictions.
4. Amy Jacques Garvey (1895-1973) was a poet, activist, feminist and civil rights leader. Born in Jamaica, she moved with her family to New York as a young woman, and became a pioneering journalist and activist for emancipation and civil rights. She was the co-founder of first President General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, as well as the second wife, editor and long-time collaborator of Marcus Garvey. She edited the UNIA newspaper The Negro, and published three books of her own.