CURATING: Unfixed Photography and Postcolonial Perspectives in Contemporary Art


UNFIXED ( 2009-2012)  was  a project that explored the relation between photography, postcolonial perspectives and contemporary art. It included an exhibition, symposium, workshop, artist commission-residency, and a resulting publication. The title refers to the UNFIXED nature of photography. It explored photography’s  relationship to ideas of ethnicity, culture and identity in contemporary art.

The project was initiated and developed by independent curators Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy through their nonprofit, Stichting UNFIXED Projects.


Investigating how photography can be ‘unfixed’ through contemporary conceptual, theoretical and visual approaches, UNFIXED presents new critical perspectives on photography in relation to the cultural conditions of postcolonialism.With contributions by: Kobena Mercer (1960 UK), Keith Piper (1960 UK), Otobong Nkanga (1974 NG/FR), Hank Willis Thomas (1976 US), Charif Benhelima (1967 BE), Naro Snackey (1980 NL), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (1954 US), Andrea Stultiens (1974 NL), Pamela Pattynama (1958 NL), Yamini Nayar (1975 US), Sandim Mendes (1986 NL), Habda Rashid (1971 UK), Terry Kurgan (ZA), Rattana Vandy (1980 KH), Lizza May David (1975 DE), Natalie Robertson (1962 NZ), Kaddu Wasswa John (1933 UG), Arthur Conrad Kisitu (1975 UG), Quinsy Gario (1984 CU/SM), Murtaza Vali (1974 IN), Asmara Pelupessy (1981 US/NL), Sara Blokland (1969 NL)

Sara Blokland Asmara Pelupessy [eds]
Graphic design: Yvonne van Versendaal
ISBN 978-94-90322-29-8 2012

The UNFIXED book can be ordered through Jap Sam Books.

here you can find a preview of the book

EXHIBITION 23 October – 4 December 2010

Center for Contemporary Art (CBK) DordrechThe Netherlands


In the UNFIXED exhibition a group of six international artists re-constructed and re-contextualized fixed versions of photographic history through their installations, found and vernacular images, sculpture, text and video. The simultaneously manipulative and elusive nature of photography plays an important role in the work of each of these artists and the approaches they take on issues relevant to postcolonialism. Charif Benhelima(BE 1967) Otobong Nkanga(FR 1974)  Keith Piper(UK 1960) Naro Snackey NL 1980) Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie’s (USA 1954) Hank Willis Thomas (USA 1976)


SYMPOSIUM 16 /11/ 2010  Center for Contemporary Art (CBK) Dordrecht  The Netherlands

The symposium explored photography’s relationship to changing notions of cultural histories, identities and representations. The day included talks, presentations and discussions by the artists, a keynote speaker, curators, and scholars. Presentations took varied forms including lectures, conversations, performances, etc.

keynote :Kobena Mercer  (UK) and other speakers :Charif Benhelima (BE), Otobong Nkanga (FR/NG), Keith Piper (UK), Naro Snackey (NL), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (US) and Hank Willis Thomas (US).  Pamela Pattynama (NL) Natalie Robertson (NZ) and a collaborative presentation from Andrea Stultiens (NL), Kaddu Wasswa John (UG) and Arthur Kisitu (UG). Moderator: Farid Tabarki (NL).




participants: Sara Rosa Espi (ZA), Sophie Feyder (LU), Tasha Finn (AU), Massimiliano Fusari (IT), Rosie Heinrich (UK/NL), Annabel Hesselink (NL), Erika Larsson (SE), Sandim Mendes (NL), Kathleen Reinhardt (DE), Natalie Robertson (NZ), Ohad Ben Shimon (IL/FR), Nadine Siegert (DE), Natasa Siencnik (AT), Atêf Sitanala (NL), Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi (UK), Ambrose Naqeeb Stevens (US)
Artist-in-Residence    KEITH PIPER 
read here about his project

© Keith Piper Augmented Dordrecht from A future museum of the present 2010

Keith Piper (1959 UK) is a multi-media artist, curator and lecturer

Installation  A Future Museum of the Present   

Een Toekomstig Museum van het Heden

by Keith Piper (1959)

A Future Museum of the Present grew out of a residency undertaken by the artist Keith Piper in Dordrecht over a two-month period during the summer of 2010. The Future Museum is a statement of Keith Piper’s ‘outsider’ reflections on Dordrecht, Dutch culture and the notions of an archive. The museum includes an interactive video installation, reading room and artifacts.



(a non-profit organization) aimed to create platform for dialogue between photography, contemporary art and theory, developing and producing projects with a strong focus on cultural identity.