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Art Historian Playlist: Deborah Barkun Listens to Joana Choumali

May 13th, 2019

Today’s conversation continues our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, writers, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to introduce episodes from our archive.

Based in the United States, art historian and curator Deborah Barkun is Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Director of Museum Studies at Ursinus College, outside Philadelphia. Her research centers on the social dynamics of artistic collaboration. Barkun is contributing to our stories from the 58th Venice Art Biennale. Here, she introduces our conversation with Ivorian artist Joana Choumali, first released on April 30, 2018.

Deborah Barkun writes: I am excited to introduce this reprise of “Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy.” I feel especially connected to this episode, as I was present for Cathy’s first interview with Choumali in the Ivory Coast Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Choumali spoke poignantly about African emigration and the emptiness it leaves in the hearts of loved ones left behind. Her hand-embroidered and collaged photographic diptychs depict this global migration. Loose threads left dangling from the works speak to a sense of ongoing longing.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography: Deborah Barkun

Related Episodes: Joana Choumali Embroiders EmpathySounds of the 57th Venice Art BiennaleSamson Young: Songs for Disaster ReliefLisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial GazeMonument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in VeniceMark Bradford Connects Art with the Real World

Related Links: Joana ChoumaliIvory Coast PavilionVenice Art BiennaleDak’Art 2018