Allan deSouza: Through the Black Country...

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Allan deSouza, Through the Black Country..., installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2018. © Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Allan deSouza, Through the Black Country..., installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2018.

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Allan deSouza, Through the Black Country..., installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2018. © Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Allan deSouza, Through the Black Country..., installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2018.

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Allan deSouza, Borough Boogie Woogie, 2016. Digital print on Hahnemuhle paper. 24 x 36 in. © Allan deSouza
Allan deSouza, Borough Boogie Woogie, 2016. Digital print on Hahnemuhle paper. 24 x 36 in. Image courtesy of the Artist and Talwar Gallery, New York | New Delhi © Allan deSouza

Exhibition

On view
Jan 25, 2018 to Jul 14, 2018
Main Level, Contemporary Gallery

Allan deSouza is internationally acclaimed for his photographic, installation, text, and performance works that restage historical evidence through counter-strategies of fiction, erasure, and (mis)translation.

DeSouza’s most recent work reenacts and upends iconic colonial narratives of discovery in Africa. Through the Black Country, or, The Sources of the Thames Around the Great Shires of Lower England and Down the Severn River to the Atlantic Ocean is based on the expedition diaries of the Zanzibari crypto-ethnologist Hafeed Sidi Mubarak Mumbai, the fictional great-grandson of the historic figure, Sidi Mubarak Bombay—a formerly enslaved African who, upon gaining his freedom in India, returned to Africa and lead numerous British expeditions across Africa. In this installation, comprised of photographs, diary extracts, and sculptural works, Hafeed sets off to fulfill his great grandfather’s unfulfilled wish—to discover the fabled and elusive source of the River Thames. 

In addition to his art practice, Allan deSouza is chair of the department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. His current book project, How Art Can Be Thought, an examination of art pedagogy and a lexicon of terms used within the art critique, will be published in 2018. 

Curator: Allyson Purpura, senior curator and curator of Global African Art, in collaboration with the artist

Krannert Art Museum exhibitions are made possible in part by a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Ricker Library of Architecture and Art has developed a library guide with details about this exhibition, as well as supplementary materials and curator-recommended readings: Library Guide for Allan deSouza: Through the Black Country...

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Provenance: A Forensic History of Art, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.
  1. May 13, 2017 to Dec 8, 2018
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Wynn Bullock, Shore Line, 1966. Gelatin silver print. Museum purchase 1967-14-2. © Wynn Bullock
  1. May 26, 2018 to Oct 20, 2018
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Cuzco School (active Cuzco, Peru, 16th–18th century), Our Lady of the Remedies of La Paz, ca. 1750. Welcome Wall installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2018. Photo by Jessica L. Hung.
  1. Sep 12, 2018 to Dec 8, 2018
Welcome Wall
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Kennedy Browne, Real World Harm (Act I), 2018. Still from 360º video for Oculus, 5 minutes. Courtesy of the artists © Kennedy Browne
  1. Oct 4, 2018 to Feb 9, 2019
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