More visibility and diversity:
The Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship collaborates with the V&A East and Yinka Shonibare

The collaboration between Frieze and Deutsche Bank as Global Lead Partner of the fair began in 2004, based on a shared understanding of the unique role contemporary art plays in today’s globalized culture. Together with Frieze, Deutsche Bank launched the Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award in 2019 to support emerging filmmakers in LA. This was followed in 2020 by the introduction of the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship to promote diversity in the arts in the UK. The program aims to support emerging POC curators in the UK to gain a foothold in the art world. The initiative, which brings together artists and public and private supporters, seeks to increase visibility and diversity in the UK art scene. The fellowship offers curators the opportunity to develop and deepen curatorial practice in some of the UK’s leading public art institutions. The first fellowship was established in 2020 in a partnership with the artist Idris Khan and Chisenhale Gallery. The fellowship was awarded to Amina Jama, a London-based Somali-British curator, producer, poet. Her writing explores displacement, dual cultural identity and family. A second fellowship was agreed with BALTIC. Fellow is Kinnari Saraiya. She was born in Bombay and is an artist, writer, curator, thinker with an interest in the colonial present.

The 2021 recipient will work with V&A East, one of the most ambitious international museum projects. In 2024, the renowned Victoria & Albert Museum will open V&A East Storehouse, its first branch in East London. The Storehouse contains a publicly accessible repository of some 250,000 art and design objects as well as an extensive library. The second branch, the V&A East Museum, will follow just one year later. The aspiring curator will gain extensive experience in the museum’s areas of expertise and will work on the ongoing exhibition program. During the fellowship, there will also be mentoring sessions with members of the Frieze team and Deutsche Bank Business Support. In addition to Deutsche Bank funding, the fellowship program is also supported by the proceeds from the sale of an artist-designed edition. The first edition in 2021 will be designed by Yinka Shonibare, the renowned British-Nigerian artist and coordinator of the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts 2021.

Yinka Shonibare said: “The DB Emerging Curators Fellowship is very important because I feel that it will increase opportunities for Black curators within the art world. These placements can’t really be underestimated as it increases much needed representation and introduces new voices to the field of curation. I'm very much in support of that.”

Shonibare’s edition is a sculpture inspired by a series of masks he designed. He works with bright colors and “traditional” Dutch wax fabric patterns, which are popular in Africa but actually originated in Indonesia and only arrived in Africa in the 19th century in the course of colonization by the Netherlands. Shonibare, one of the artistic pioneers of postcolonial discourse, interrogates Eurocentric notions of exoticism and the relationship between “African” aesthetics and Western modernity. Produced in an edition of 50, the editions of the work will be sold for £ 2,000 each and will be available online at Frieze.com and at Frieze Week locations. One hundred percent of the sales proceeds will be allocated to the Emerging Curators Fellowship. One edition will be raffled off. There is no charge to enter the raffle, but one can optionally make a donation to the fellowship.

More information can be found at frieze.com.