A new version of the Diaspora pavilion, a hit at last year’s Venice Biennale, will be presented at Wolverhampton Art Gallery (9 February-29 April). The UK-led pavilion, a collateral event at the 57th International Art Exhibition, focused on migration and globalisation, and aimed to overturn the traditional national pavilion structure of the 123-year-old biennale. “The Diaspora pavilion was the greatest energy source of the whole Biennale,” Maria Balshaw, the director of Tate, told us last year.
The exhibition due to open in Wolverhampton will feature works by seven of the 19 artists who exhibited in the Venice Diaspora pavilion including the British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, the Singapore-born artist Erika Tan, and Kimathi Donkor who is of Ghanaian heritage. Works by Khadija Saye, the artist who died in the Grenfell Tower fire in London last June, are not included.
The pavilion is presented by the International Curators Forum (ICF), a London-based curatorial practice network. “As the exhibition is reformulated for Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the conversations about the urgency and relevance of diaspora initiated at the 2017 show shift now in response to the historical importance of Wolverhampton in the establishment of the Blk Art Group [formed in 1979] and in its connection to the wider British black arts movement,” says a statement from ICF.
The Diaspora pavilion display is supported by Art Fund, UAL University of the Art London and Arts Council England.