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Beeldbepalers: Iris Kensmil

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In the series Beeldbepalers, a leading artist collaborates with the Balie in Amsterdam to create a full-length program. This time visual artist Iris Kensmil put together an evening around her depictions from Black Perspective.

Kensmil is known for her intruiging oil paintings, drawings and installations. She depicts important Black writers, musicians and activists. In this way she shows (intellectual) history from an underexposed perspective: Black and feminist. In De Balie, Kensmil connects that past with the present through in-depth conversations and a performance created especially for this evening.

Together with six young Black women, she presents One Step Backward, Two Step Forward. This performance features footage by Kensmil herself about Black thinkers. Responding about them are Naomie Pieter, Lakiescha Tol, Zaire Krieger, Lisette Ma Neza, Munganyende Hélène Christelle, and Grâce Ndjako. What do Black intellectuals mean to these six? This performance will be followed up in the fall, when Iris Kensmil's solo exhibition at Kunstinstituut Melly opens on October 1.

Two prominent faces from the art world will also give a lecture. Director of London's Chisenhale Gallery Zoé Whitley, who co-curated Soul of a Nation, then curator of the Van Abbemuseum Nick Aikens. Finally, Kensmil will talk with her colleague Willem de Rooij about what art is and does (or can do).

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