Allan deSouza

portfolio

2019 La Vida del Capitan

Translation from Spanish:

The Life of the Captain
from
The Letters and Journals of Visitaçao da Costa
–A Faithful Indian, Named after the Captain’s Sister,
Traveling from Khalifia on board the SS Margarita

In the Name of Don Aldo, Dear Leader of the Twitters, Perpetual Viceroy and Supreme Governor of All Hotels, Golf Courses and Countries that He Covets, Make Deals With, and Occupies

After having turned out all the Jews and Moors from all your offices and states, in the same month of January your Honorable Lord Senators gave orders to the Captain that with a sufficient fleet he should go to the shithole parts of the world, and for this they made great concessions to him, and ennobled him, so that henceforward he should serve Don Aldo, Dear Leader of the Oceans, etc., and Whose most treasured daughter Ivania should succeed, and so on from generation to generation for ever, and for whom all the Captain might hereafter discover and acquire.

Monday, 1st of April
Equipped with three vessels well suited for our service, and well supplied with provisions and crew, we departed from the port of Oak. As part of my duty I thought it well to write an account of all the voyage very punctually, noting from day to day all that I should do and see, and that should happen, as will be seen further on. Also, Lord Senators, I resolved to describe each night what passed in the day, and to note each day how we navigated at night. I propose to construct a new chart for navigating, on which I shall delineate all the sea and lands; and further, I propose to prepare a book, and to put down all as it were in pictures.

portfolio

2017 Through Black Country

Through the Black Country

or,

The Sources of the Thames Around the Great Shires of Lower England and Down the Severn River to the Atlantic Ocean

Image List–USF

01. Hafeed Sidi Mubarak Mumbai as Sidi Mubarak Bombay, Starting the Thames Expedition,

02. Navigation Chart, 2017 , 46” x 68”, digital print on vinyl
02.1. Navigation Chart (detail 1)
02.2. Navigation Chart (detail 2)

03. Xing, 2016, 11 x 19, digital print

04. Borough Boogie Woogie, 2016 , 24” x 36”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

05. Building Paradise, 2016, 24” x 36”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

06. Empire Gardens, 2016 , 24” x 36”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

07. Cloaca Maximus / River Tiber, 2016, 8” x 24”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

08. Merikani2, 2017, 24” x 24”, digital print on cotton

09. Merikani3, 2017, 24” x 24”, digital print on cotton

10. Mzungu1, Isla Dogs, 2016 , 40” x 23”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

11. Mzungu2, Isla Dogs, 2016 , 40” x 23”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

12. Maridadi2, 2017, 24” x 24”, digital print on cotton

13. Maridadi3, 2017, 24” x 24”, digital print on cotton

14. Maridadi (design for Kanga), 2016, 24” x 48”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

15. The Orange Merkin Strikes Again, 2016, 9.5” x 16”, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper

16. Rewards, 2016, 12 x 16, digital print

17. KMarks, 2016, 12 x 16, digital print

18. 50%, digital print, 2016, 12 x 16, digital print

19. Goodbye Too, 2016, 12 x 16, digital print

uncategorized

Biography and Contact

Allan deSouza is a California-based cross-media artist whose works restage colonial-era material legacies through counter-strategies of fiction, humor, erasure, and (mis)translation.

deSouza’s work has been exhibited extensively in the U.S. and internationally, including at the Walther Collection, Germany; Pompidou Centre, Paris;  Gwangju Biennale, Korea; Guangzhou Triennale, China; ev+a Festival, Ireland; and in solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; the Phillips Collection, DC; SF Camerawork; Fowler Museum, LA; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; Talwar Gallery, NY, and Talwar Gallery, Delhi. deSouza’s writings have been published in various journals, anthologies, and catalogues, including Third Text, London; Wolgan Art Monthly, South Korea, X-TRA, Los Angeles. deSouza is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art Practice, UC Berkeley, and is represented by Talwar Gallery in New York City and New Delhi.

adesouza13@berkeley.edu

exhibitions_archives

6/11 The Phillips Collection

The World Series
A photo installation in response to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series
June 23 to October 30, 2011
1600 21st Street, Washington D.C.

Allan deSouza’s new project, The World Series, (2011), is a response and homage to Jacob Lawrence’s iconic The Migration Series, (1941). Both consist of 60 sequential, narrative images, but while Lawrence’s paintings are specific to the early twentieth century black migration from the American South to Northern cities, deSouza’s photographs track a broader experience of international migration as well as referring obliquely to his own family’s history. The World Series plays across multiple locations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States, to investigate cultural encounters that are political and poetic, sometimes unnerving, sometimes humorous.

Since Lawrence’s series is divided between the Phillips and New York’s MoMA, deSouza will show 30 prints to match the number in the Phillips’ collection.

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10/11 Yerba Buena Center

Allan deSouza, Close Quarters and Far Pavilions
Oct 1, 2011 – Jan 8, 2012 • Gallery 3

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Allan deSouza’s new video and photographic installation, Close Quarters and Far Pavilions, consists of a four-channel video work of multiple sequences shot from inside commercial flights at the time of take-offs and landings. The title, influenced by M.M. Kaye’s 1978 novel about conflicting identities and split loyalties set in India and Afghanistan, suggests the aircrafts’ cramped spaces and the hand-to-hand combat of “close quarters,” as well as the exotic allure of faraway places. Each flight in the videos is en route to or from San Francisco, enacting a series of perpetual departures and arrivals. For all the videos, the source images are digitally split into two mirror images. In some cases the outside plane wing forms a sinister, self-sufficient object resembling stealth aircraft or drones, which we familiarly associate with surveillance, particularly in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similar clips are visually abstracted into circular target-like forms that resemble the rotation of jet engines. The seemingly abstract form is rendered understandable through the soundtrack of the familiar engine drone, cabin announcements and passenger conversations. Photographs of the landscape below, also taken in-flight, complement the videos. These “ordinary” views of land- and skyscapes are also rendered into mirror images. They suggest human-made shrines, mythological figures, aliens and other figments of the social imagination.

exhibitions_archives

1/12 SF Camerawork

Allan deSouza,The World Series
JANUARY 13 – FEBRUARY 25, 2012

SF CAMERAWORK | 1011Market Street (at 6th), San Francisco CA 415.487.1011
Gallery Hours: Tue–Fri 3:00–8:pm, Sat 12:00–5:00pm, and by appointment

The World Series (2011) was inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s iconic The Migration Series (1941, which portrays the twentieth century black migration from the American South to Northern cities. DeSouza’s photographs invoke history to track contemporary pathways through the signage of metaphorical, transcultural, political and psychogeographic encounters. The paths taken may refer to deSouza’s own history––and we can indeed read elements of deSouza’s known biography; or these encounters suggest a fictional protagonist who moves through them, much like in a novel, storyboard or film; or the encounters are themselves protagonists, and are largely understood through narratives suggested both within each photograph and through their accumulation and sequencing. Whether the tales of a tourist, a migrant, exile, returnee or one who inhabits many locations and psyches, it is precisely through combining fictional strategies with the truth-telling claims of photography that we are led to multivalent, counter-readings of history.

Dr. Moi Tsien
Berlin, Germany

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3/12 CUNY Graduate Center

Allan deSouza: Coffee-Colored People (By The Score)
Presented by the Committee on Globalization and Social Change
Monday, March 5th, 2012 | 4.30 – 6.30 pm

The Skylight Conference Room (No. 9100) The CUNY Graduate Center 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Titled after the lyrics of a 1969 Blue Mink song, Melting Pot, which advocates obliterating difference as a utopian means of “getting along,” this talk–using examples from deSouza’s own artwork–will examine different artistic strategies of erasure, redaction, translation and recuperation, and will further consider cross-disciplinary solidarities between art practices and other fields of investigation. Whether official or oppositional, the very nature of art doesn’t allow it to be fully disciplined within existing structures and hegemonies, and this talk will consider what, if any, radical solidarities may be generated through art’s undisciplined possibilities.

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12/12 Talwar Gallery, New Delhi

ALLAN deSOUZA
Painting Redux

December 7, 2012 through January 15, 2013
Talwar Gallery, New Delhi
C-84 Neeti Bagh, New Delhi 110049

Talwar Gallery is pleased to present, Painting Redux, a solo exhibition of works by Allan deSouza. The exhibition will open to the public on December 7 and run through January 15, 2013.

Through the appropriation of iconic paintings, and his virtual painterly process, deSouza in Painting Redux, traverses past and present, exploring collective and individual encounters with Western art history and canonical Western artists. The familiar, figurative sources of the works, through the process of deSouza’s overlaying are submerged in dense, mostly monochromatic palettes, subtly re-emerging on the surface in residual traces and flecks of color.

In the Redactions series, paintings by Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin have been redacted and reworked, where the color is extracted from the furthest point of the painting–usually the horizon–is brought forth to envelope the surface, obscuring the original image. While the works in Third Eye emerge from self-portraits of major Western artists, undergoing a painterly retransformation with the dominant color in each portrait selected from the site of the proverbial ‘third eye’.

exhibitions_archives

3/13 HKW, Berlin

CHARTING MANYWHERE: Praneet Soi and Allan deSouza, moderated by Ranjit Hoskote, March 2013, A Former West project, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

http://www.formerwest.org/DocumentsConstellationsProspects/Contributions/ChartingManywhereHome

FORMER WEST: DOCUMENTS, CONSTELLATIONS, PROSPECTS
18 – 24 March 2013
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

10557 Berlin
http://www.hkw.de/en/programm/2013/former_west/former_west_83123.php

SAT March 23, 2013
Insurgent Cosmopolitanism

Our comprehension of the polity has long been centered on the assumption of a consensual political contract between citizen and state. Recent insurgent upheavals, however, have unmasked this consensus as fiction, retrieving the ideal of cosmopolitanism as an active and critical strategy that sets itself against the grain of national(ist) restrictions. This current explores the continuing presence of a revolutionary hope of achieving solidarity through identifying points of affinity, shared criticality, and common affirmation.

Conceptualized by Ranjit Hoskote

HOMI K. BHABHA, ALLAN deSOUZA, NINA FISCHER & MAROAN EL SANI, PIOTR PIOTROWSKI, RASHA SALTI, PRANEET SOI AND MANY OTHERS

Insurgent Cosmopolitanism
Conversation: Allan deSouza, Praneet Soi Charting Manywhere
Lecture: Homi K. Bhabha Age of Insecurity
Panel Discussion: Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Dolores Zinny & Juan Maidagan The Active Guest

Dissident Knowledges
Lecture: Piotr Piotrowski Global Agoraphilia
Lecture with film excerpts: Rasha Salti Sketches for an Alternative Arab Almanac 1989–2013
Performance: Radhouane El Meddeb Tunis, le 14 janvier 2011

exhibitions_archives

9/13 UC Berkeley

The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium
UC BERKELEY’S CENTER FOR NEW MEDIA

Allan deSouza
“Avatar Syndrome: Past Imperative, Future Conditional”
DATE: 9/16/13

ABSTRACT
Avatar Syndrome has come to refer to the intense longings experienced by fans of the 2009 James Cameron film for the depicted planetary moon Pandora and its Na’vi humanoids. Fans report subsequent depression and even suicidal tendencies because, as one online post declared, “you know you can never actually go to Pandora, as it exists only in our imagination… sigh… :(”
Avatar represents a current apex of imaging technologies, even as it depicts a colonial fantasy of sublime nature and noble savages that is closer to that of the mythologized Pocahontas, whose 1614 marriage to John Rolfe was the first recorded inter-racial marriage in America.
This talk will consider deSouza’s own art and text works in relation to similar intersections of future-making technologies and past-reproducing fantasies, nostalgias for authenticity and disciplinary cross-contaminations.
http://atc.berkeley.edu

exhibitions_archives

11/13 Marfa, Texas

Heterotopia
organized by crystal am nelson

October 5 – November 2, 2013
in Marfa, Texas

Opening Reception:
October 5: 2-4 pm
The Yard
213 E. Dean Street (enter on E. Dallas)
http://apexart.org/exhibitions/nelson.php

2013 Published Essays:

Undsciplined Knowledge, with Allyson Purpura, in African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work, eds., MaGee, C; Grabski, J., Indiana U. Press

ArtSchooling, with Jeannene Przyblyski, in What We Can Knot, pub: Shifter Magazine, No.20. NY.

Where You Lookin At? in Earth Matters, National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC

exhibitions_archives

12/13 Oakland, CA

Occupations: Art Takes Up Space


PUBLIC SITE-SPECIFIC VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
Curated by Anuradha Vikram


Ninth Street between Broadway and Washington Street, Old Oakland

December 6, 2013-January 4, 2014
Open Reception: December 6, 2013, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Participating artists: Freddy Chandra; Allan deSouza; Desirée Holman; Ranu Mukherjee; Jerome Reyes; José Carlos Texeira

Occupations: Art Takes Up Space invites a group of established mid-career artists, based mostly in the Bay Area, to consider the ways in which we philosophically relate to physical, psychological, and social spaces. Through projections of video and photography in the public space of Old Oakland storefronts, the exhibition brings the intellectual curiosity and visual engagement of contemporary gallery art to the wider and more diverse public of the streets. These artists propose views of the human condition that surpass the simplified categories that customarily define us – our jobs, our politics, our families, our ethnicities. Instead, their works seek to activate viewers’ imaginations by selectively obscuring and revealing visual information and leaving us to fill in the gaps. By engaging the inner space of the mind in this creative way, these artists prompt the external conditions of our existence to fall away and reveal personal freedoms that no one can diminish.

Occupations: Art Takes Up Space is a site-specific, interactive series of window projections illuminating both sides of 9th Street, between Broadway and Washington in Old Oakland. This is as a free, public installation, opening on December 6, 2013 and will light the street each Friday and Saturday night between the hours of 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM until January 4, 2014.

Additionally, the video walk will incorporating an interactive audio element, allowing viewers to tap into a live audio stream for three of the video works. Anuradha Vikram will also record an audio tour as an educational element.

http://www.block-gallery.com/locations/public-space/occupations-art-takes-up-space

exhibitions_archives

Notes from Afar

March 6 through June 13, 2015
Opening Preview, Friday, March 6, 6-8pm

TALWAR GALLERY
108 E 16 Street
New York, NY 10003

Talwar Gallery is pleased to announce Notes from Afar, an exhibition which brings into conversation two expansive works by Allan deSouza. On view is The World Series, a body of photographs the artist created in response to Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, and a new video work, Ark of Martyrs, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness. Both series refer to historical texts and use techniques of dictation and translation to arrive at entirely different and independent works, which can still, however, be tracked back to their sources.

The World Series, inspired by Lawrence’s iconic 1941 series, engages with the experience of life in an increasingly globalizing world. While Lawrence’s paintings document the specific migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities, deSouza presents a visual “script” for a fictional migration to becoming American, seen through the signage and psychology of metaphorical and political sites. Adhering by way of a resurfacing wit, deSouza’s photographs depict a world characterized by ambiguity and jarring disorientation.

The video, Ark of Martyrs (2014), presents the first five pages of deSouza’s rewriting of Joseph Conrad’s infamous 1899 novel, Heart of Darkness, set in what was then Belgian Congo. The video presents audio narration of Conrad’s original text synched to deSouza’s scrolling rewritten, rhyming text, requiring the viewer to follow both by emulating simultaneous translation. Where Conrad’s narrator, Marlow, contrasts the “civility” of London’s River Thames with the “savagery” of the Congo River, deSouza’s narrator, Garbo, recounts “civilization” as a wedding party on an adrift cruise ship, its revelers on the brink of their own hedonistic self-destruction. Mimicking mass surveillance and data-collection, Garbo eavesdrops on conversations and the uncensored mental chatter of the assembled guests, creating an effusive portrait of the contemporary with recurring reference to news events and social anxieties, from sexual desire to gender dysphoria, from Desert Storm to bank bailouts, from the “Arab Spring” to global warming.

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2015 Hot Chilies

Hot Chilies, 2015
14′, 50″, video projection.

Quotes about art, as overheard or misheard by the artist
(sample stills)

portfolio

2014 Ark of Martyrs, video, 15′

The video, Ark of Martyrs, presents the first five pages of deSouza’s rewriting of Joseph Conrad’s infamous 1899 novel, Heart of Darkness, set in what was then Belgian Congo. The video presents audio narration of Conrad’s original text synched to deSouza’s scrolling rewritten, rhyming text, requiring the viewer to follow both by emulating simultaneous translation. Where Conrad’s narrator, Marlow, contrasts the “civility” of London’s River Thames with the “savagery” of the Congo River, deSouza’s narrator, Garbo, recounts “civilization” as a wedding party on an adrift cruise ship, its revelers on the brink of their own hedonistic self-destruction. Mimicking mass surveillance and data-collection, Garbo eavesdrops on conversations and the uncensored mental chatter of the assembled guests, creating an effusive portrait of the contemporary with recurring reference to news events and social anxieties, from sexual desire to gender dysphoria, from Desert Storm to bank bailouts, from the “Arab Spring” to global warming.

portfolio

portfolio

2014 4AM

Title:
4 A.M., (from the Unequivalence series):
Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Silueta series, 1973 -1980, color photographs;
Carl André (1935-), Equivalent series, 1966, fire bricks;
Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), Equivalent series, 1920s, gelatin silver prints.

Materials:
Clothes, video projection, 2014, variable dimensions

Wall text:
In the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz made a series of photographs of clouds. In 1966, Carl André made a series of sculpture installations referring to Stieglitz’s earlier photographs. In the 1970s, Ana Mendieta made a series of performance sculptures of her own “silhouetted” body form situated in different landscape settings. Mendieta and André were married until Mendieta’s still-unexplained death, falling from their 34th floor apartment. André, the only witness to her death, was tried and subsequently acquitted of her murder.

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