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Kunsthistorisches Institut

Artist Talk with Justin Randolph Thompson

Thursday 27th April 2023,

Universität Zürich, Rämistrasse 73, CH-8006 Zürich

Seminarroom: RAK-E-08 


Artist Talk with Justin Randolph Thompson

Black History: Recovery and Resistance

This talk by Justin Randolph Thompson employs the artist’s trans-disciplinary art practice as a point of entry for reflecting upon the recovery of Black history, the construction of institutions and the development of long term strategies of resistance. The artist is co-founder and director of Black History Month Florence and of the Black cultural center The Recovery Plan in Florence Italy. With 9 research platforms and having realized over 300 events, this work is aligned in its vision, formalization and methodologies with the 20 plus year practice of the artist.

Justin Randolph Thompson is an artist, cultural facilitator and educator born in Peekskill, NY in ’79. Based between Italy and the US since 1999, Thompson is a recipient of a 2022 Creative Capital Award, a 2020 Italian Council Research Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Franklin Furnace Fund Award, a Visual Artist Grant from the Fundacion Marcelino Botin and an Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park amongst others. His work and performances have been exhibited widely in institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and The American Academy in Rome and are part of numerous collections including The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museo MADRE.  His life and work seek to deepen the discussions around socio-cultural stratification and the arrogance of permanence by employing fleeting temporary communities as monuments and fostering projects that connect academic discourse, social activism and DIY networking strategies in annual and biennial gathering, sharing and gestures of collectivity.

Thompson is Co-Founder and Director of Black History Month Florence, a multi-faceted exploration of Black histories and cultures in the context of Italy founded in 2016. Having realized, coordinated, curated, facilitated and promoted over 300 events and with 9 ongoing research platforms, the initiative has been re-framed as a Black cultural center called The Recovery Plan.

The talk is hosted by the Chair for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Art Historical Institute of the University of Zürich.

Organized by: Rosa Sancarlo, M.A.