Ronald Moody, 'Midonz' 1937
Past Event Tate Britain Talk

Symposium: The Black Subject: Ancient to Modern

21 February 2015 at 11.00–18.00
Ronald Moody, Midonz 1937, Tate. © The estate of Ronald Moody
Johan Zoffany, 'Colonel Blair with his Family and an Indian Ayah' 1786
Johan Zoffany
Colonel Blair with his Family and an Indian Ayah 1786
Tate

Ronald Moody Midonz

John Simpson, 'Head of a Man (?Ira Frederick Aldridge)' exhibited 1827
John Simpson
Head of a Man (?Ira Frederick Aldridge) exhibited 1827
Tate

Black Subject symposium group shot - close

Black Subject symposium - projection of sculpture

Black Subject symposium - three speakers

Black Subject symposium - distance shot of stage

Black Subject symposium - talking at the stand with projection

Black Subject symposium group shot

Black Subject symposium - talking at the stand

Black Subject film screening 2 Photo David Dawson

Black Subject symposium talking at the stand

From characters from ancient mythology to the birth of modernism, this symposium takes an interdisciplinary approach, exploring relationships between artists and models, multi-racial interwar communities, historical subjects, sexuality, gender and the work of previously neglected artists.

The aim is to take a broad historical sweep, using the Tate collection as a starting point for a discussion on depictions of people of African and Asian decent in British art, tracing a journey from subject to subjectivity.

Symposium outline

The morning consists of a single session, ‘From Absence to Presence,’ taking in depictions of Ancient Mythology right through to the Georgian era featuring speakers including artist Kimathi Donkor, Michael Ohajuru, Dr Temi Odumosu, researcher and writer SI Martin, and Prof Michael Fisher. Discussion chaired by Prof Sukhdev Sandhu (NYU).

After lunch, ‘Victorians – a Conversation’ considers alternative visual readings of the era including presentations on photography and painting from Dr Caroline Bressey (The Equiano Centre at University College London), Dr Florian Stadtler (University of Exeter) and Jan Marsh (National Portrait Gallery). Discussion chaired by Dr David Dibosa (UAL).

In ‘Model Citizens’ we delve into the lives of artists models in the interwar years with presentations on Patrick Nelson and Sunita by Dr Gemma Romain (The Equiano Centre at University College London) and Dr Roshan McClenahan. Both feature in the ‘Spaces of Black Modernism’ display. Discussion chaired by Sonya Dyer (Tate).

Our final session, with Prof Partha Mitter, will consider the role of Indian artists and art students in the dawn of Modernism, followed by a plenary chaired by Dr David Dibosa (UAL).

Research material will be on display in Tate Library and Archive Reading Rooms during this event.

Venue

The Clore Auditorium

Tate Britain
Millbank
London
SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

21 February 2015 at 11.00–18.00