press release

The artist and curator Ina Wudtke realizes in the frame of her fellowship at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen the exhibition Griot Girlz. Feminist Art and the Black Atlantic.

Griot Girlz is the answer to the concept of Riot Girlz, which within the visual arts refers to feminist art in the context of rock and punk. Griot Girlz equally represent feminist art, albeit in the context of music with African roots (hip hop, jazz, drum & bass, etc). The word 'griot' is familiar from ethnology and refers to persons, who in oral African cultures preserve the history of their social surroundings and transmit it orally. Griot Girlz tell a story, often, but not only, with mnemotechnical elements, such as rhime or rap. The exhibition presents art, which refers to the musical tradition of the black Atlantic diaspora. Parallel to the exhibition a book entitled Black Sound White Cube will be published.

Details on the participating artists

During the 1980s in the UK, Sonia Boyce became a key figure representing the Black Arts Movement. In the exhibition Griot Girlz, her conceptual work devotional wallpaper will be on display. It lists about two hundred names of exclusively black female musicians. The selection of musicians reaches from the 1960s until the present and includes Shirley Bassey, Najma Arhbar & Vula Malinga (Basement Jaxx), Shara Nelson & Sara Jay (Massive Attack), Skin (aka Skunk Anansie), Moni Love, Martine Topley-Bird (Tricky) a.o. Many of these female musicians named on the devotional wallpaper were in the British charts and are known via radio broadcasting to all British people. The devotional wallpaper presents in one single view the full significance of the female Afro-Atlantic part of British popular culture.

Minouk Lim engages herself in her video New Town Ghost with the sell out of cities and the transformation of universities into factories of the knowledge economy. Her video deals with the changes of her neighbourhood Yeongdeungpos (Seoul) through the building of a big shopping mall with an attached apartment complex. Lim wrote a long text which she asked a young Korean slam poet to perform with a megaphone alongside a live drummer playing break beats in an open truck. The video documents their drive through the neighbourhood the text is dealing with. This courageous political performance wants to provoke reactions of the locals.

Yvette Mattern video tapes her mother and asks her many questions about her white grandmother and her black grandfather. The videoInterview with my Mother, Mulatta/Mestizoreflects the Puertorican racism that seems to determine her mother's perception of self. Next to many details from her mother's live, we hear her sing 'Summertime' as a reference of her father, that taught her singing.

Ina Wudtke presents a dub plate. Dub plates are test pressings of records which dj's use to test and promote them, before the music is properly released on vinyl. Dub plates play an extremely important role in dj cultures like dance hall and drum and bass. The most famous dj's and sound systems often play exclusively dub plates – meaning unreleased material. The dub plate The Fine Art of Living of Ina Wudtke aka DJ T-INA Darling features spoken word and tracks that deal with the displacement of low income households away from the inner burroughs of metropolises. She completes her work with a series of drawings on the same issue.

only in german

Griot Girlz
Feminist Art and the Black Atlantic
Kurator: Ina Wudtke

Künstler: Sonia Boyce, Minouk Lim, Yvette Mattern, Ina Wudtke

Ort: Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen