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18 Apr 2016

Call for participation: Art and (de)colony. COCOAA Project, Conzano

Image: Kevin Shaw, Wet season clouds, Kimberleys, Australia ( 2003)

2016 COCOOA FORUM: Art and (de)colony. Art, curating, critical practices in contemporary times
Artegiro Contemporary Art, COCOAA Project, Comune di Conzano


Opening: Saturday 14 May 10.30 14 |15 may hrs: 10 - 18

Renata Summo-O'Connell

Comune di Conzano,
Piazza Australia 5,
Conzano (AL)

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Art and (de)colony is the first COCOAA Art and Curating Forum, an international gathering of artists, curators, critics and relevant policy makers. COCOAA Forum is an invitation to participate into a bold, collective reflection, simultaneously live and online, to explore multiple visions of contemporary art, to investigate new ways to curate and critique today in our intensely varied contemporary art world. In particular, the forum will develop a proposal for attaining decolonized art curatorial and critical practices.

Art, curating and critiquing practices today take place in a world where postcolonial – neocolonial – globalized categories are still present and playing roles that puzzle as well as challenge us.
This state of things generates affiliations and relationships between art and curating, art and critique, art and power, art and markets that are at times new, at times rather trite and well-trodden.
COCOAA project invites artists, curators, art collectors, scholars and all interested art industry players to participate into a bold, collective reflection, simultaneously live and online, to explore multiple visions of contemporary and modern art, to investigate new ways to curate and critique today in what is an extremely varied art world. COCOAA project proposes to develop and launch a manifesto for attaining decolonized art curatorial and critical practices.
For this reason COCOAA project proposes to explore the relevance to the art world of notions of posthuman in Rosi Braidotti's sense where rather than seeing the post-human condition as a crisis or a loss, Braidotti debates that it is an opening and a challenge for new ethical and social forms of bonding. With Braidotti and Glissant COCOAA project banks on the creolization of languages therefore proposes as a workshop methodology distance as well as freedom in the relationship with current art language through processes of hybridation that incorporate artist and critical practices. With Braidotti we recognize that the nomadic is a navigational tool, not a
concept. Therefore, discussing dialogical and critical collaborations between artists and curators, contributing to decolonizing critical language and curating will be unavoidable questions as critics / curators of various backgrounds collaborate with artists from various cultures.
Such practices in fact require a balanced perspective, not only a recognition of backgrounds but reacquainting with diverse epistemologies, cultural realities. At times current curatorial practices expose a reluctance to engage with a lingering essentialist nostalgia. At the same time for example, the dilemma exists when curating and critiquing some indigenous art of particular historic significance where not only a cultural mandate by indigenous people should be sought but a determination to produce events where a new experience of art and artifacts can be performed.
Anyone who plays in today's art fields side by side with so many other players who can come from anywhere in the world will face these interrogatives and we would like to open the way and celebrate a new start in new directions.
One of the two important objectives of the COCOAA Forum is to give international artists, art critics and curators an annual opportunity to work and reflect with a firm gaze on collaborations, decolonizing curatorial practices and publishing the outcomes of these collaboration and reflections. A publication will be discussed already during the forum and be distributed by end of 2016.

The forum will take place in the wonderful 1800's restored villa, Villa Vidua, in Piazza Australia, 5, In Conzano (Al), in the Monferrato region in Piedmont, North West Italy (map:
The villa has two conference areas on the middle floor, whilst on the ground floor there is a number of large spaces equipped for exhibitions.
During the workshop Transluogo, a program of art events and an exhibition will take place (
The the COCOAA Project (Conzano Contemporary Art Artegiro Project) has been recently established by Artegiro Project and the City Council of Conzano. It is an annual program of contemporary art and curatorial events.

2016 COCOAA Project Forum 14 |15 may hrs: 10 - 18

Registration 14 May at 10 Villa Vidua, Piazza Australia 5, Conzano (Al) Italy
All proceedings will be live and online via Skype and the Fuze platform

The COCOAA Project is supported by the Australian Embassy in Rome, Artegiro Contemporary Art, Comune di Conzano, Provincia di Alessandria.