On the occasion of the exhibition John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night, which focuses on the work of self-taught Jamaican artist John Dunkley who was working in 1930s and 40s Kingston, PAMM will convene a panel discussion presenting a range of perspectives on the artist and exhibition.
In looking at a major body of Dunkley’s work in this contemporary moment, and for the first time ever in the United States, panelists will explore the artist’s objects, as well as approach his practice through a range of lenses, including global and Caribbean art historical perspectives, the Jamaican cultural context and the shifting reception of the work of self-taught artists within galleries and museums.
Thomas J. Lax Thomas J. Lax is Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA, a position he’s held since 2014. Previously, he worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem for seven years where he worked on exhibitions including When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South. In 2015, was awarded the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement and in 2017, he was a Fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.
Diana Nawi, former associate curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami has organized such exhibitions as Adler Guerrier: Formulating a Plot, Iman Issa: Heritage Studies, and Nari Ward: Sun Splashed, among others.
Veerle Poupeye is an art historian and curator specialized in Caribbean and Jamaican art. Veerle Poupeye holds a Master’s degree in Art History from the Universiteit Gent in Belgium and a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta, USA. She has previously worked as a Curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica, as Coordinator of the Visual Arts programme of the MultiCare Foundation and at the Edna Manley College, where she served as Research Fellow and the Curator of the College’s CAG[e] gallery and of the Final Year exhibitions. She has also taught Art History, Visual Studies and Curatorial Studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Emory University, New York University and the University of the West Indies. She is since 2009 the Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica.
David Scott is the president of Small Axe Inc., the director of the Small Axe Project, and editor of Small Axe. He teaches in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of Formations of Ritual: Colonial and Anthropological Discourses on the Sinhala Yaktovil (1994), Refashioning Futures: Criticism After Postcoloniality(1999), Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (2004), and Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (2014), and co-editor of Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and his Interlocutors(2007). He is currently at work on two book projects: one, a study of the moral imperative of reparations for New World slavery; and the other, a biography of the life and work of Stuart Hall.
Nicole Smythe-Johnson is an independent curator and writer based in Kingston. Her writing has appeared in ARC Magazine, The Caribbean Review of Books, The Miami Rail, and Flash Art, among others. Smythe-Johnson is the first Tilting Axis curatorial fellow.
Deborah A. Thomas is the R. Jean Brownlee Term Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica and Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica, and is co-editor of the volume Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Thomas also directed and produced the documentary films Bad Friday: Rastafari after Coral Gardens, and Four Days in May, and she is the co-curator of a multi-media installation titled Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston, which will open at the Penn Museum in November 2017. Thomas is the Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association.