PANEL: Curating Mancoba

Title: Curating “I shall dance in a different society”, Ernest Mancoba retrospective at the Centre Pompidou

copyright the speaker. To reference the talk: Alicia Knock, “Ernest Mancoba – Dialogue on his Art & Words” 10 Feb 2020, A4 Foundation, Cape Town

Retrospective of Ernest Mancoba’s artwork, “I shall dance in another society”, curated by Alicia Knock, at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), 26 Jun – 23 Sep 2019

Ernest Mancoba’s long unnoticed journey and work is steeped in paradox: a politically vocal artist delivering silent works // dealing with forced erasure as well as embracing the ‘invisible’ // his work is an ongoing image as well as divided in chronological moments. Knock will sketch a path towards the curatorial choices she made when thinking about ‘exhibiting’ the paradoxical and multilayered art of Ernest Mancoba.

Curator at the Centre Pompidou in the Contemporary art and Prospective Department run by Christine Macel, Alicia Knock works at expanding the museum towards Africa and Central Europe, through acquisitions and both thematical (Museum On/Off, Galerie 0, Centre Pompidou, 2016) and historical exhibitions (Retrospective of Ernest Mancoba, I shall dance in a different society, Galerie 0, Centre Pompidou, 2019). In charge of recent Duchamp Prize exhibitions (Kader Attia, Yto Barrada, Ulla von Brandenburg and Barthélémy Toguo, 2016; Maja Bajevic, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Charlotte Moth, Vittorio Santoro, 2017), she is also involved in the new project space of the Pompidou, Galerie 0, aiming at becoming a laboratory for new practices. In her curatorial practice, Alicia Knock therefore tries to explore new exhibition format, questioning the museum itself through multidisciplinary projects. Also engaged in promoting women artists, she curated “The most foreign country, women artists from the Duchamp Prize, Fondation Fernet Branca, 2017 and a group show at Bandjoun Station (Cameroon) in 2018. At the 58th Venice Biennale, she curated the Albanian pavilion: Maybe the cosmos in not so extraordinary, a video installation by Driant Zeneli. She organized screenings for the monthly “Prospectif cinema” at the Pompidou (Binelde Hyrcan, Adoma Akosua Owusu…) and launched there a series of talks called “Artists & Curators”. She has been involved in different art jurys and workshops.