Curatorial Studies

Bianca Baldi, Play-White

Masterclass: Play-White - Racial Passing and Embodied Images

with Bianca Baldi


CS seminar room, KASK & Conservatorium/ School of Arts

'Cause I'll never change all my colours for you.
Whitney Houston, I Have Nothing. 1993

This one-day masterclass will present Bianca Baldi’s recent body of work Play-White along with other artists, activists, researchers, and writers working around the theme of image-making in racial passing. In sociology, the term ‘passing’ refers to the phenomenon whereby an individual may be identified as belonging to an identity group or category other than their own. This may include racial identity, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and/or disability status. Based on topics from Play-White this masterclass will explore the conditions of racial passing through topics such as colonial trade routes, embodiment, shame, class betrayal and performativity.

The topics chosen for the masterclass are organised in relation to the structure of the forthcoming artist book entitled Play-White which uses the three criteria of race reclassification in apartheid South Africa as the structure and lens to discuss the construction of race. The three working themes are entitled Appearance, Descent and Acceptance.

key concepts: passing, body/of/in as image, code-switching, versipellis, apartheid, taxonomy


Bianca Baldi (born 1985) is an artist born in Johannesburg, South Africa and based in Brussels. In her work she deals with the role of narrative as a means of knowledge production in both fictional and historical contexts. She is interested in the staging of identity and history and explores these themes in photography, film, writing and publishing, which she often combines in the exhibition format as installations. Her work has been featured in large international exhibitions such as the 11th African Biennial of Photography (Bamako), the 11th Shanghai Biennale, the 8th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art and group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bern, Extra City Kunsthal Antwerp, Kunstverein Braunschweig and Kunstverein Frankfurt. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include Cameo at Grazer Kunstverein, Versipellis at Superdeals in Brussels (2018), Eyes in the Back of Your Head at Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (2017) and Pure Breaths at Swimming Pool in Sofia (2016). Her forthcoming publication Play-White is published by K Verlag and co-edited by Netwerk Aalst and Grazer Kunstverein. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 2007 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa and completed her studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. She is currently doing a PhD at Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerp / ARIA (UA).