Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi is an associate professor of art history at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Constantine Petridis is curator of African art and chair of the department of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. From 2012 to 2015, Petridis and Gagliardi worked together to realize the major international exhibition Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa, which originated at the Cleveland Museum of Art. They have continued to collaborate and now co-direct Mapping Senufo.
Mapping Senufo: Rethinking the Art-Historical Monograph in the Era of Digital Publication
Despite the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during the spring of 2020, Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi and Constantine Petridis continued to work on developing Mapping Senufo, an in-progress, collaborative, born-digital publication. They also completed an article manuscript about the project and submitted it to a journal for review. The Mapping Senufo project joins theories about identity construction and knowledge production with the practice of writing about arts of Africa once considered “traditional.” It reflects the project team’s commitment to taking seriously long-established understandings that a marker of identity, like labeling of an art style or knowledge itself, is historically constituted, fluid, and positional. In its final form, the multimodal publication will exemplify the contingent nature of identities, art style labeling, and knowledge production.
Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi and Constantine Petridis were in residence at the Camargo Foundation in 2020, as part of the Core Program.
Les Carnets de Camargo
To cope with lockdown due to the covid-19 situation in France, we have encouraged our current residents to share their experiences, and so the collaborative project, Les Carnets de Camargo, was born. Visual, written, and spoken testimonies invite us into the residents' lockdown, on the banks of the Mediterranean, hovering between dreams and reality, between illusions and disillusion. As Les Carnets de Camargo also aims at being a bond for our community, through reflection and exchange, these creations will eventually be the testimony of this unprecedented moment.
"After I returned to the States, I realized I could transform a personal project I had created when we could still walk freely around Cassis into a photo essay to share with other fellows in an effort to maintain connections with the group. I hoped my reflections on more or less obscured access to beautiful views as a result of circumstances beyond our control might resonate with people separated from the same views as a result of government-imposed confinement within their nearby residences or other requirements to return to their faraway homes." (Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi)
Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi participated in this project by creating a photo essay that is available here.