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Artist Talk: La Vaughn Belle


Artist Talk: La Vaughn Belle

Uptown Campus
Woldenberg Art Center
Stone Auditorium

Join the Sawyer Seminar for an artist talk at Stone Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane’s Uptown Campus featuring artist La Vaughn Belle in conversation with Dr. Laura Rosanne Adderley.

Artist La Vaughn Belle is based in St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and her practice addresses the legacy of colonialism in the built environment and in historical memory. With Danish artist Jeannette Ehlers, Belle has worked to monumentalize Mary Thomas, leader of the 1878 “Fireburn” revolt by formerly enslaved indentured laborers in the Danish colony of St Croix. The two artists created I AM QUEEN MARY based on combined 3D scans of their own bodies, radically reformulating the hegemonic memorial forms of monumental statue. By intentionally placing the statue before the elegant brick building that formerly housed the Danish West India Company on Copenhagen’s waterfront –and which today houses the National Gallery of Denmark’s plaster casts of canonical Western European sculpture – the artists made the violent history of Danish colonialism in the Caribbean present in the heart of the metropolis.

Historian Laura Rosanne Adderley, an expert on the Atlantic Slave Trade across the Caribbean and North America and author of “New Negroes from Africa”: Slave Trade Abolition and Free African Settlement in the Nineteenth-Century Caribbean, will act as respondent.

This artist talk is part of From River Road to Copenhagen: Revising our Remembrance of the Past, a multi-part symposium running through February 10-15 that explores innovative approaches to publicly addressing the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade in the Americas, specifically in Louisiana and the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands). Through film screenings, site visits, artist talk, and the opportunity for engaging conversation over dinner at Tulane, the symposium focuses on changing approaches to curating historical houses such as the Whitney Plantation and Shadows-on-the-Teche in Louisiana, and on the links between colonial sites in the Danish West Indies and I AM QUEEN MARY, an anti-colonial monument at the heart of Copenhagen’s colonial waterfront.

This event will be enforcing Tulane COVID-19 policies regarding face-coverings and vaccination statuses, please check online at https://tulane.edu/covid-19 for the most recent updates.