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US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale presents Loophole of Retreat: Venice

October 7–9, 2022

Loophole of Retreat: Venice, a gathering of Black women and femme intellectuals—performers, writers, filmmakers, artists, and activists—will take place October 7-9 at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, expanding the U.S. Pavilion’s presentation of artist Simone Leigh’s work at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The project builds on the critically acclaimed Simone Leigh: Sovereignty exhibition, which was commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) in collaboration with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. It also exemplifies the collaborative spirit that is central to Simone Leigh’s artistic practice.

The distinguished group of participants’ distinctive viewpoints and talents will be showcased in 60 various presentations. Simone Leigh, a visual artist, and Rashida Bumbray, the symposium’s curator, along with Saidiya Hartman, a university professor at Columbia University, and Tina M. Campt, an Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, serve as the symposium’s curatorial advisors. Maroonage (independent communities of resistance), manual labor (done or performed with hands), magical realism (Black cultural production that subverts Western progressivism), medicine (methods for treating physical, spiritual, natural, and supernatural ailments), and sovereignty are among the directives (self-determination).

“Loophole promises to be a watershed moment in the field of global Black feminist thought which will nurture the intergenerational and interdisciplinary connections between Black women thinkers and makers working in the Global South and its diasporas,” said Bumbray. “As each engages with the others and the ideas guiding the symposium, we anticipate new cross-pollinations of thinking, some which may bear collaborative fruit immediately and others which we hope will bear fruit over many years.”

To share the experience of Loophole of Retreat: Venice with a wide audience, sessions will be streamed live here.

More information about the program and participants can be found here. Streaming online here.

Loophole of Retreat: Venice participants 
Vanessa Agard-Jones (New York), Mistura Allison (London & Milan), Deborah Anzinger (Kingston) , Firelei Báez (New York), Holly Bass (Washington, DC), Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia), Phoebe Boswell (London), Rizvana Bradley (San Francisco), Dionne Brand (Toronto), Tarana Burke (Harlem, New York), Tina Campt (New York), Cecily (Washington, DC), Aimee Meredith Cox (New York), Javiela Evangelista (New York), Ayana Evans (New York), Denise Ferreira da Silva (Vancouver), Ja’Tovia Monique Gary (Dallas), aracelis girmay (Brooklyn), Kaiama L. Glover (New York), dream hampton (Detroit), Saidiya Hartman (New York), Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich (New York), Leslie Hewitt (Houston and New York), Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (Los Angeles), Sandra Jackson-Dumont (Los Angeles), Zara Julius (Johannesburg), Lauren Kelley (New York and Houston), Bouchra Khalili (Berlin and Paris), Grada Kilomba (Berlin), Daniella Rose King (London), Autumn Knight (New York), Negarra A. Kudumu (Seattle), Las Nietas de Nonó (San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico), Diane Lima (Salvador/São Paulo, Brazil), Raquel Lima (São Tomé, São Tomé e Príncipe), Gail Lewis (London), Canisia Lubrin (Whitby, Canada), Jessica Lynne (New York), Tsedaye Makonnen (Washington, DC and London), Nomaduma Rosa Masilela (Berlin), Paloma McGregor (New York and St. Croix, USVI), Maaza Mengiste (New York), Nontsikelelo Mutiti (New Haven), Kettly Noël (Bamako, Mali and Port-au-Prince, Haïti), Stella Nyanzi (Munich), Lorraine O’Grady (New York), Okwui Okpokwasili (New York), Senam Okudzeto (Basel, Switzerland), Janaína Oliveira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Oluremi C. Onabanjo (New York), Olumide Popoola (London [of German-Nigerian background]), Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Dutchess County, New York), Annette Lane Harrison Richter (Washington, DC), Legacy Russell (New York), Christina Sharpe (Toronto), Lisa Marie Simmons (Lake Garda, Italy), Maboula Soumahoro (Paris), Tourmaline (New York), Françoise Vergès (Paris), Alberta Whittle (Glasgow), Mabel O. Wilson (New York), Nelisiwe Xaba (Johannesburg)