Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lara Dahlmann: Currents

Monday 9 November, 2015, from 7 pm, at Alice Yard 

“[Lara Dahlmann’s] notebook studies of the back steps of modest middle-class concrete houses, the occasional Barataria night-scene, or the shape of breadfruit leaves, all visual phenomena that we often ignore, became her own personal visual vocabulary or sensorial mapping. As her responses evolved, she began to have fun, and invented ‘exotic’ hybrid animals and personages taken from the labels of local consumer items or the Murtis of Hindu calendar art, while still engaging and processing the expectations one conjures from old-fashioned geographical annuals…”

— Christopher Cozier, from the catalogue of a piece of pomerac, June 2009, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum and Papiermuseum Düren

Lara Dahlmann is a German artist, living and working in Hamburg. For the past three weeks, she has been artist in residence at Alice Yard. On the evening of Monday 9 November she will present a series of drawings and a mural in an open studio event at Alice Yard.

Earlier stays in Trinidad had a deep impact on Dahlmann’s work and inspired her to create a visual vocabulary of her own mythologies as a constant exchange with the surroundings. These previous visits also suggested the possibility of working with space: her silhouettes began as shifting installations of paper clippings on a wall, were then executed as two-dimensional cut-outs, and have expanded back onto the wall again as a paper installation.

Her current series of larger cut-outs was influenced by a visit to Caroni Swamp, and depicts views of the swamp as a constantly revolving system of creation and destruction. Deriving from this meditation on stillness and transcendence, the works are now about the underlying dynamics, the circulation and the motion.

All are invited.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Introducing Lara Dahlmann and Tessa Mars

Artists in residence, October to December 2015

In the final quarter of 2015, Alice Yard is hosting two artists in residence, Lara Dahlmann (October to November) and Tessa Mars (October to December).

Lara Dahlmann is a German artist, living and working in Hamburg. She graduated with a diploma in illustration from the University of Applied Sciences and received a travel grant from the DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service to visit Trinidad and complete her studies in 2000. She later participated in residencies at Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Trinidad in 2006, and at La Paternal Espacio Proyecto in Buenos Aires. Dahlmann has exhibited in various spaces in Hamburg and Berlin, and at the Leopold-Hoesch Museum in Düren. For more information on her work, visit

Tessa Mars is a Haitian visual artist living and working in Port-au-Prince. She completed her bachelor’s degree in visual arts in France, at Rennes 2 University in 2006. From 2006 to 2013 she worked as a cultural projects coordinator at Fondation AfricAméricA. Her work has been exhibited in Haïti, Canada, France, Italy, and the United States. In 2015 she was awarded a travel grant by the French Institute (“Visa pour la creation” programme/Afrique et Caraïbes en Création), and is subsequently in Port of Spain for a three-month residency at Alice Yard. During her stay she will be shaping her personal mythology and exploring how new surroundings influence our narratives. For more information, visit

Both artists will give public presentations of their work at dates to be announced.

Monday, October 12, 2015

AY24/7: Alex Kelly


The latest in Alice Yard’s 24/7 series of artists’ installations is a mural drawing by Alex Kelly, part of an ongoing exploration of the concept of “force ripe.” The work at Alice Yard, writes the artist, “seeks to examine the roles that education and the rapid acquisition of wealth have played in the development of the current social and cultural realities of Trinidad and Tobago since it gained independence in 1962.”

About the artist:

Alex Kelly is a contemporary artist working in Trinidad and Tobago. He recently graduated from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts. Over the period of his study at the university, Kelly participated in several public art projects.

He has exhibited in three group shows with the University of the West Indies, and in 2012 produced the mural Slave at the Night Gallery, Woodbrook, Port of Spain. Most recently, Kelly participated in the Caribbean Linked III artists’ residency and exhibition in Aruba, where in August 2015 he spent three weeks producing original works and participating in engagements that have expanded the scope of his practice from a national focus to a regional one.

Kelly is one of the resident artists at Granderson Lab, Alice Yard’s adjunct incubation space in Belmont, Port of Spain.

AY24/7 is an ongoing series of artists’ works installed in the Alice Yard Box, a modest gallery space accessible to viewers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A conversation with Ivan Sigal

Friday 9 October, 2015, at 7 pm

Kabul, Afghanistan, 2004, from White Road

Ivan Sigal is a photographer, writer, media producer, and executive director of Global Voices. His book White Road, published in 2012, is a meditation through images and text on the aftereffects of history, the restlessness of travel, and the possibilities of human encounter, based on his experience living and working in Russia and Central Asia from 1998 to 2005. A more recent project, The Karachi Circular Railroad, reported for the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting, circumnavigates the Pakistani city, telling stories about its past, present, and possible futures.

On Friday 9 October, 2015, at 7 pm, Sigal will give an informal talk at Alice Yard on his photography and reporting projects, the compulsion to document, and how photographs can find truths behind the grand narratives of nations and official histories.

All are invited.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Proximities 2: Destinos Posibles

Curated by Meykén Barreto
Presented in partnership with the ttff/15 new media programme

Wednesday 23 September, 2015, 7 to 10 pm at Alice Yard

Still from Inversión, by Glenda Leon

This selection of video works, first presented in 2014 as part of the groundbreaking exhibition Cuban-American: An Empire State of Mind at Lehman College Art Gallery in New York City, tackles tricky themes inspired by the United States: as the familiar homeland for second- and third-generation children of Cuban parents, or as the distant, imagined place that has historically empowered diverse ideologies in Cuba. The larger exhibition was co-curated by Yuneikys Villalonga and Susan Hoeltzel, while the video art programme, presented here, was organised by guest curator Meykén Barreto.

Including works by Allora & Calzadilla, Juan Carlos Alom, Humberto Díaz, Felipe Dulzaides, Luis Gárciga, Tony Labat, Glenda León, and Ana Olema, this is the second in the Proximities series of video works presented by Alice Yard, exploring relationships within the Caribbean region.

Technical support is generously provided by North Eleven.

Curator Meykén Barreto writes:

“The video programme was designed considering possible links between Cuba and America through the work of some artists whose video practice I consider remarkable, and who offer different approaches to the subject: some explicit and others with an apparently tangential relationship. I also wanted to reinforce the idea of a fluid, open, and completely unprejudiced concept of Cuban identity. Therefore I chose works by eight Cuban-born artists for whom video has been a key medium within the scope of their artistic practice, working in a range of genres: documentary, video performance, action documentation, and fiction. I was interested in including works addressing topics such as identity, Cuban and American cultural interferences, history, and contemporary conflicts in the hemisphere of the Americas, among others.”

All are invited.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We are here / we are everywhere


From Actor/Transporter, a performance work by Charles Campbell, part of Alice Yard’s 2011 series ACT 5: The Performative Moment

On 15 September, 2015, Alice Yard marked its ninth anniversary as a space for collaboration and exchange. Over the coming year, as we imagine our way towards our tenth anniversary, the Alice Yard co-directors will issue a series of brief reflections and provocations on some of the key concepts that have occupied us and the members of our network, the enduring questions we keep returning to in our conversations. We welcome responses from our friends, colleagues, and audience.

Tuesday 15 September, the ninth anniversary of Alice Yard’s debut as a public space, was an ordinary day for us, with no planned commemorative event. Two of our three co-directors are away from Trinidad: Christopher Cozier in Miami, at a Cannonball artist’s residency, and Nicholas Laughlin in New York City, at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Meanwhile, founder and third co-director Sean Leonard continues to quietly manage and observe the actions and interactions of our network at Alice Yard and Granderson Lab.

In some ways, this physical dispersal of the Alice Yard co-directors is the apt reflection of a characteristic dynamic. From the beginning, Alice Yard has been a specific, modest location: literally the backyard of a house in Woodbrook, shaped by its urban neighbourhood, open to the life of the street. At the same time, Alice Yard has also been a conceptual space, harder to delimit or define: it is a network of creative and intellectual collaborators, a forum for critical conversation, an experiment about modes of exchange and sharing.

So sometimes we are “here”, sometimes we are not, but all times we are “everywhere”: which is to say that Alice Yard operates wherever there are artists, musicians, writers and others in generous conversation with us. A chart of locations where our network is currently active through exhibitions, projects, performances, residencies, meetings, etc. is a map of almost the whole globe. In merely the past three months or so, those active locations have ranged from Toronto to Havana, Amsterdam to São Paulo, Cambridge to Wellington, Nagoya to Port-au-Prince, and dozens more points in between.

This dynamic of “place” versus “space” is an open question at the core of our evolving understanding. It is a question in contention with the restrictive idea of a “territory” requiring a boundary patrol or a price of admission — an idea inherited from the particular history of the Caribbean. The physical gate to the Alice Yard driveway is open, as is our ongoing conversation about what we are doing and why — as are our hopes that Alice Yard is not another opportunity for asserting territorial claims. Instead we are fascinated by the possibility of a process that defies and supersedes such modes of assertion. We are fascinated by mobility within, across, outside, and returning to a space that is simultaneously here and everywhere.

— SL   CC   NL

Monday, August 31, 2015

Richard Mark Rawlins: The General Public

Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 September, 2015, 7 to 10 pm

During the first week of September, Richard Mark Rawlins will show two works at Alice Yard. The artist is seeking to close a loop of political exploration which began in the lead-up to Trinidad and Tobago’s 2010 general elections with his Button Project.

Rawlins’s KAMLAFLAGE Jacket — a new work created in 2015 — is “a visual response to the ubiquitous political modus operandi of using subterfuge and smoke and mirrors to divert public attention away from the real, substantive issues of the day,” he explains.

#didyouhearyuhself 2014, previously shown at the 2014 Jamaica National Biennial, is a series of 35 text-based works “inspired by the political soundbites, reportage and utterances of a number of Trinidad and Tobago’s government representatives.”

All are invited.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lola Flash: Portraits

Monday 17 August, 2015, from 7.30 pm

Nickolai, from the [sur]passing series

During her current residency at Alice Yard, New York-based photographer Lola Flash has been working on three ongoing portrait series, Surmise, [sur]passing, and Salt. On the evening of Monday 17 August, Alice Yard will host an informal exhibition of images from these series shot by Flash in Trinidad, alongside examples of work by participants in her recent portrait photography workshop.

All are invited.

Find out more about the artist here.