Barby Asante is an artist and curator based with a background in installation, photography and film. After finishing her Bachelor in Fine Art at the University of East London, she proceeded to complete her Masters in Visual Culture at Middlesex University London.
Within her creations, the main focus is to make the audience aware of the importance of shifting perspectives and to include a participatory element within her art. The idea of dialogue and interaction is key to her work, connecting the creative aspect to broader social and cultural issues. As such, she wants to particularly explore the reaction towards multicultural representations, often triggering a certain response, to then assess how the framing of these elements takes place within contemporary (British) society. In connection to Asante’s ancestry and background, she puts the main emphasis on the role of blackness in times of the development of the contemporary British identity after the war. One of her projects was established in connection with the exhibition Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Hayward Gallery in London (2005), the hub of contemporary African art in Europe.
As part of the exhibition El Órgano Oriental at Framer Framed in early 2016, Asante presented – in collaboration with the collective sorryyoufeeluncomfortable and Teresa Cisneros – the project Baldwin’s Nigger RELOADED II. Baldwin’s Nigger RELOADED II begins with Horace Ove’s 1969 film Baldwin’s Nigger, which records a speech and conversation with James Baldwin and Dick Gregory at the West Indian Student Centre in London in 1968.
Barby Asante also curated the exhibition and project Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca at Framer Framed from 14 December 2018 to 17 February 2019 and from 7 December to 25 January at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning in London, in collaboration with curator Amal Alhaag.
Her previous work includes: The South London Black Music Archive, Peckham Space, London and Tate Modern, Londen (2012); Tramway, Glasgow (2013), Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Bolton (2013); Metal, Peterborough (2013); InIVA, London (2014); To Gypsyland in collaboration with Delaine le Bas, 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, Londen, (2014); and the Diaspora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017).
Asante is currently based in South London.