“Recording Our Histories” by Rudy Loewe
31th of January – 6th of February 2019
We are excited to welcome Rudy Loewe for an one week art residency & solo exhibition at WE DEY x SPACE.
In conversation with Rudy Loewe
Sunanda Mesquita for WE DEY
How would you like to be introduced to someone who doesn’t know you or your art practice yet?
I am a black non binary artist who works with themes such as Diaspora, identities and histories. I am a storyteller. Much of my work is just about finding the best way to tell the story.
How would you position yourself in the art world? Do you feel any connection to current or past people or movements (also outside the art world)?
It’s tricky because in many ways I feel outside of the (white) art world. But at the same time I’ve had a privileged art education so it’s not that simple. I am interested in black artists who are working in different contexts, but sharing some overlapping themes such as cultural identity; gender; sexuality; and histories. The artists or art movements that I feel a connection to is a reflection of those that I in general feel in community with.
What role does community play in your practice and how did you come about connecting both art and community practices?
It was important for me to find a community that reflected my QTIBPOC identity, before it became important to me to think about art community. My relationship to community has been a massive influence on the kinds of work I want to make, so it feels impossible to separate the two.
What were your favourite moments/projects and what difficulties did you come across?
One aspect of my work that I love is getting to work with people, collecting narratives and thinking about how to make them into something visual. There is a challenge in this though. I also have my own subjectivity and agenda, and it’s difficult to separate that and try to think about not letting it influence how I work with other people’s stories.
Can you tell us a little bit about Brown Island and what it was/is all about?
Brown Island is a BPoC student group that I have been part of at Konstfack (an art school) in Stockholm. We created a space for ourselves to critique the institution and also think about what it is that we needed in that environment. We are now continuing the work inside and outside of the institution.
What sparked your interest in applying for the Open Call at WE DEY x SPACE?
The thing that interested me the most was to work in a PoC focused space, organised by PoC. I feel like in a European context, this doesn’t happen very often.
Can you tell us more about your project “Recording our Histories” which you are realising at WE DEY x space?
One ongoing thread in my work is how we collect, document, preserve and edit our histories. I see this as a very political and subjective process. So I want to continue an exploration of how to create a space for oral histories that removes white men as the curators of history. Ideally I would love to have a long ongoing project that created a platform for PoC histories, and predominantly black histories, to take space, in a way that suits the owners of those histories. But this is not something I currently have the resources for! So I am collecting people’s histories at the moment and experimenting with how this can be presented.
I really love how you open the discussion to the wider community, can it be read as a strategy to work against reproducing hierarchies within the BIPoC communities and/or deconstructing western notions of experts vs. amateurs?
In my work I think about how the constructors of mainstream history is often coming from white middle class, European men. I want to highlight that history is subjective, and in that we need to collect accounts from as many people as possible. I know that I can’t rely on middle class white men to tell the stories of BIPoC.
Where and how was your work presented before and what did you like about it/ what would you want to be different this time at WE DEY x space? What are your expectations?
My last exhibition was a solo show at Marabouparken in Stockholm. It was great to have a whole space that I could direct the viewer through. An important element to any exhibition I do, is that people feel like they can stay in the space and have a space to discuss.
Thank you so much! ❤