The Africa Center co-organizes “All African People's Consulate” by artist Dread Scott at the Venice Biennale

The Africa Center co-organizes “All African People's Consulate” by artist Dread Scott at the Venice Biennale

April 26, 2024

Dread Scott

All African People’s Consulate

Collateral Event of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Castello Gallery, Castello, 1636, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Previews: April 17-19, 2024
Opens to the Public: April 20, 2024

Cristin Tierney Gallery is delighted to announce Dread Scott’s conceptual artwork, the All African People’s Consulate, as a Collateral Event of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. This special project is organized by Open Society Foundations and The Africa Center, with support from Cristin Tierney Gallery, Wake Forest University, and Art Events. It is curated by Paul Bright, Director of Hanes Gallery at Wake Forest. The Consulate opens on the Grand Canal at Castello Gallery with previews on April 17th, 18th, and 19th.

The All African People’s Consulate is a functioning consulate for an imaginary Pan-African, Afrofuturist union of countries, promoting cultural and diplomatic relations. The premise of the Consulate is the opposite of most existing immigration chokepoints; while those often function to constrain admittance and movement, this Consulate facilitates ways to let one in. In a convivial setting, one is invited to stay, converse, and interact in organic, spontaneous ways.

In the Consulate visitors can apply for an All African People’s Community passport or visa. They will interview with Consulate staff, where they will discuss their relationship to Africa, their family history of migration, and more. For those of African descent, the Consulate facilitates their citizenship in this futurist, globalist community, presenting them with a personalized passport. Others receive a visa allowing them to visit.

By creating the All African People’s Consulate, Scott engages in an act of inversion. American and European media feeds are replete with images of Black people impacted by violence, in desperate migrations across hot, dry places, or in frequently disastrous situations aboard overcrowded, leaking rafts. But the Consulate offers a riposte to these views of the continent and its peoples. What if, instead of being seen as a place to escape from, there was an African community of nations which was a magnet, a refuge from colonialism and oppression, a destination for immigration and visitation?

The Consulate offers a different option, one long hoped for by freedom fighters and activists: a free state for “Africans,” truly independent and democratic. Visionary Afrofuturist and musician Sun Ra famously proposed that “space is the place”—the locus for free Black people of the diaspora to reconvene. But what if we didn’t have to go that far? What if Africa was that place? What if it always has been?

The All African People’s Consulate is supported by Wake Forest University, Cristin Tierney Gallery, and Art Events. It is presented by The Africa Center and Open Society Foundations.

Dread Scott (b. 1965, Chicago, IL) is an interdisciplinary artist who for three decades has made work that encourages viewers to re-examine the cohering ideals of American society. His art has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, The Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, CAM St. Louis, Whitney Museum of American Art, African American Museum, Bruce Museum, CAM Houston, Worcester Art Museum, Pratt Munson, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Copenhagen Contemporary, and Kunsthal KAdE, among others. It is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery, New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Ackland Art Museum, Pratt Munson, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Akron Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and Worcester Art Museum. Scott was recently awarded the prestigious Abigail Cohen Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, and previously received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Frieze Impact Prize, Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, and Creative Capital Foundation Grant. His studio is in Brooklyn, New York and he is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery.

The Africa Center is transforming the world’s understanding of Africa, its Diaspora and the role of people of African descent in the world. Serving as the hub for the exchange of ideas around culture, business, and policy related to the continent, and in the spirit of collaboration and engagement with individuals and institutions who share the Center’s values, The Africa Center inspires enthusiasm, and advances thought and action around Africa’s global influence and impact on our collective and shared futures. The Africa Center’s physical presence on Fifth Avenue at the intersection of Harlem and the Museum Mile is a location that embodies the dynamism and diversity of Africa and its Diaspora in the heart of New York City. Its mission is guided by a leadership team that includes Board Co-Chairs Chelsea Clinton and Jendayi Frazer, Board President Halima Aliko Dangote, and CEO Uzodinma Iweala.

The Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, are the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. They approach this mission through the illuminating principles of justice, equity, and expression—defining characteristics of any truly open society. Under George Soros’s leadership, the OSF support individuals and organizations across the globe fighting for freedom of expression, accountable government, and societies that promote justice and equality.

Paul Bright is the Director of Galleries and Programming at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (USA). Bright arrived at Wake Forest in 2004 and became the director of Hanes Art Gallery in 2012. As a university student Bright studied printmaking and was employed as an art museum preparator and installer prior to his graduation from the University of South Carolina. Subsequently, he has occupied diverse roles within arts entities and museums: as an art exhibition designer and conservation technician in a multidisciplinary state museum; a history museum design and exhibitions director; a freelance graphic and exhibition designer; a university studio art instructor; and as an exhibition curator and gallery director.

Art Events manages exclusive locations and organizes events. Thanks to its Venice and Milan headquarters and its national network, Art Events acts in the whole Country operating in unique venues management and in event service supplies. Art Events matches exclusive venues with a deep local knowledge and a strong cultural sensitivity developing amazing projects.

Founded in 2010, Cristin Tierney Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located on The Bowery with a deep commitment to the presentation, development and support of a roster of both established and emerging artists. Its program emphasizes artists engaged with critical theory and art history, with an emphasis on conceptual, video, and performance art. Education and audience engagement is central to our mission.


Dread Scott, All African People’s Consulate (detail of passport interior), 2024. Participatory installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.


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