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Questions of Practice: Curator Koyo Kouoh on Transdisciplinary Practice

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In the last, let's say, 10, 15 years, social practices have taken a center stage in artistic practice. And the [INAUDIBLE] also reflects our times, where the insecurity, the kind of constant state of lack of safety, so to speak, and the globalization, basically, that, I mean, we have access to everything instantly. And we have some sort of knowledge on everything instantly.

And this mix of access and, you know, exposure to what is happening in the world in real-time demands another set of engagement, another set of translation, another set of interpreting, and another set of processing all of that that makes the transdisciplinarity, as itself, more kind of accessible and even is necessary. Because you cannot stay in a painting bubble, anymore, so to speak, if I may put it in that kind of cliche or caricature.

So and I think it is fundamental to any artistic cultural activity to draw from different registers. Because this is what informs your thinking, your practice, what you do, and to, also, apply all this knowledge in the way that makes it truly, I don't want to say, global, but covering as many perspectives as possible.

In an increasingly connected world in which everyone—artists included—has instant access to news and information, what new artistic paradigms emerge? Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa Executive Director and Chief Curator Koyo Kouoh theorizes that these social shifts inform new methods of artmaking and presentation, allowing and even necessitating that artists “draw from different registers,” and explains how a transdisciplinary practice can emerge from such an approach.

Koyo Kouoh is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in South Africa. She was the founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a center for art, knowledge, and society in Dakar, Senegal. In 2017, as part of its Center-supported I is for Institute project, the Institute of Contemporary Artpresented a conversation with Kouoh on RAW’s rigorous and wide-ranging approach to curatorial projects, education initiatives, and residencies.