Monday, May 16, 2016

A conversation with curator Kristen Gaylord

Thursday 19 May, 2016, 7 pm, at Alice Yard 

Kristen Gaylord is the Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and a PhD Candidate at New York University.

During the third week of May 2016, she will be curator in residence at Alice Yard, meeting Trinidadian artists and investigating the contemporary art scene and Alice Yard’s network of collaborators.

On Thursday 19 May, at 7 pm, she will give an informal talk at Alice Yard about her experience of MoMA’s C-MAP global research programme. She hopes to start a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of curating from a “global” perspective, especially related to the Caribbean.

All are invited.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

AY/24/7: Joshua Lue Chee Kong

Flag of My Mother’s Land

A statement from the artist:

“This flag pays tribute to the work of fellow Trinidadian artist Carlisle Chang (1921-2001) who was a part of the Independence Committee that created the design for the national flag when Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Britain in 1962. It gives me great pride that another Trinidadian of Chinese ancestry created this iconic emblem. This flag is also a symbol for the Chinese diaspora who came before me in the late 19th century to work on the estates under the British colonial rule and have since made Trinidad and Tobago their home.

“What is this place called home? Is it the place where one was born and grew up, or is it a place where a billion look-a-likes walk around? This flag represents my roots and also my inner conflict of belonging. This feeling of disconnection was particular strong during my artist residency at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing. I was a stranger in my mother’s land where I looked Chinese but did not feel Chinese because I was unfamiliar with the language and to the culture.

“This flag was stitched in China during my time in Beijing. It comprises of found materials that were around my studio, from a street banner that was hung on the sidewalk of the main street to discarded clothing. All the materials were specially selected to represent my notion about China from the Chinese characters on the red banner and the oriental patterns of the cloth.

“In the end I just wanted to say even though my bloodline came from China, I will always be a ‘Trinbagonian’ no matter what.”

Joshua Lue Chee Kong was born in Trinidad and Tobago. He studied graphic design at the Savannah School of Art and Design, where he received a BFA. After graduating, he worked for a year at Alfalfa Studio in New York, developing his skills as a graphic designer. He is presently living in Trinidad doing freelance work in branding, publications and design consultations.

The artist is investigating expanded ideas of national identity, transcending traditional racial and social barriers. He has a keen interest in history and culture and is presently exploring Trinidad and Tobago’s folklore, aspiring to making it relevant to the present global family, while preserving its own cultural uniqueness.

His work had been published in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, ANNO book, See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean, the Draconian Switch e-magazine, and two of his photographic images appeared on the cover of TIME magazine.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kiskadee Bride

A poem by Shivanee Ramlochan
read at Douen Islands: Kiskadee

In the courtyard, all our throats are burst figs.
Each cry is its own tyrant.

Beaks mark the pulse of entrail-love, cooing in yellowflesh.

Call your husband passerine,
feel him flit a goodbye beneath your eyelash.

Call your husband shrike,
sound your mourning bellow in the bill of his last farewell.

Call your husband home,
watch wings strum the hurricane screen,
wet like November in Lopinot,
wetter than a split-throat struck talon hard from above.

In the courtyard at night, close your eyes.

Be yourself braceleted in cagewire.
Be feasted upon by greedy mouth, by guttural swoop.

Hold his small prey in your open heart,
let the whole flock eat you out of the small rooms where you wait
to be made into a triplenotched perch.

Where all his cries in your cleft throat echo yes,
echo bright,

kiss-kill me, kiss-kill me, kiss-kill me,

Carry him home to the cauldron of your canary bed.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Douen Islands: Kiskadee

Saturday 9 April, 2016, 7 to 9 pm, at Alice Yard

Douen Islands is an ongoing, open collaborative project — featuring writers, poets, musicians, artists, photographers, and others — led by poet Andre Bagoo and designer Kriston Chen.

On Saturday 9 April, 2016, Alice Yard will host Douen Islands: Kiskadee, a performance event including words, images, movement, and music, as part of the 2016 NGC Bocas Lit Fest pre-festival programme.

All are invited.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

AY/24/7: Versia Abeda Harris

Merely a Chimera
Selected images in the Box and in the Yard 

“Fantasy is defined as unrealistic mental images on which one repeatedly dwells, that reflect one’s conscious or unconscious desires. These images do not always stay as thoughts in the mind but often manifest into physical objects/pictures, actions, words or behaviour. In my work, I think about how fantasy can manifest and how the reality of an individual may be pushed or bent by imagination.” —V.A.H.


A chimera is a single organism made up of genetically disparate cells, making it possible for the organism to have two opposing bodily features. It can also be defined as a thing wished for but is impossible to achieve. This image is selected from a series of 53 that documents a creature taking the various shapes of things observed in a continuous search for the ultimate identity.

Read more about the artist here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dangerous curves: a conversation about performance and politics

With Rosamond S. King, Gabrielle Civil, and Attillah Springer 

Tuesday 22 March, 7 pm, at Alice Yard

From Fugue (Da, Montréal), a performance work by Gabrielle Civil

What is the difference between art that is political, art that is about politics, and politic interventions that are artistic? Does it matter which of these we call “art” and which are considered activism? And when it comes to performative works and actions by women, is it ever possible for the female body — public, nude, or semi-nude — to not be read as political?

Artist, writer, scholar, and current Alice Yard resident Rosamond S. King will join artist Gabrielle Civil and activist Attillah Springer for an informal conversation on these and other questions about performance and politics.

All are invited, and audience members are welcome to join the discussion.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pablo Delano: The Museum of the Old Colony

Friday 19 February, 2016, from 6 pm, at Alice Yard

The Museum of the Old Colony, an installation by Puerto Rican artist Pablo Delano, appropriates historical imagery and challenges established protocols of museum culture. The project derives its name from a brand of soft drink named Old Colony, popular in Puerto Rico since the 1950s. Old Colony (the beverage) remains available at island groceries and restaurants in two flavors: grape and pineapple. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has endured 523 years of ongoing colonial rule — first under Spain, then the United States, since 1898. The island, an “unincorporated territory of the US,” is widely regarded as the world’s oldest colony.

The installation employs still photographs and moving images of Puerto Rico — along with their original captions or descriptive language — created mostly by US photographers, mostly for the consumption of a US general public. With sardonic humour and wit, the project references traditional historical or anthropological museums and their use of ethnographic imagery and didactic text panels.

The Museum of the Old Colony is as much an exploration of history as it is an intensely personal exercise by Delano to understand and come to terms with his own relationship with the island, where he was born in 1954.

The installation opens for public viewing on Friday 19 February, 2015, with a reception and conversation between the artist and Alice Yard co-director Nicholas Laughlin. The Museum of the Old Colony will remain on view until 26 February.

The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the conference Turning Tides: Caribbean Intersections in the Americas and Beyond, co-sponsored by the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

All are invited.

Friday, February 12, 2016

"Doh mix meh up" Sharelly Emanuelson

Monday 15 February, 2016, 7 pm, at Alice Yard
Sharelly Emanuelson will present her video, "Doh mix meh up" and share information about Uniartean arts organization, founded by the artist, in Curacao.

Sharelly Emanuelson (b.1986) is a filmmaker & video artist based in the Dutch Caribbean. She acquired her B.A. in Audiovisual Media from the School of Arts, Utrecht, followed by a M.A. in Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Her first documentary film “Su Solo I Playanan” (2010) won an audience award at the Africa in the Picture film festival (2012). With her latest video installation “Doh mix meh up” she won the 2014 Royal Academy of Art Master award. Shortly after “Doh mix meh up” was shown at the Oxford University. Emanuelson’s artistic research, is concerned with two interdependent inquiries - materializing the effects, formations and entanglements of the colonial, hyper industrial period that erupted after the post-plantation world in the Dutch Caribbean territories and exploring the capability and incapability of representing Caribbean reality and sensibilities. She looks into traditional & alternative (hi)stories and landscapes to develop her own awareness about creole spaces – a transatlantic and interdisciplinary understanding of the world I/we experience today. Bringing together her research, collected material and the spectator’s experience the artist attempts to construct new contextual discourses that often remain on the verge of nonexistence.
Video still from "Doh mix meh up." 2014
In the context of Aruba’s 60th Carnival celebration, the work,"Doh mix meh up," uses Calypso & Roadmarch songs together with the discussions surrounding this event as a metaphor for negotiations on Aruban identity and nationalism, which keeps reinventing itself. Aruba seemingly has a “nationalism” that “fortunately” is not being shaped (according to conventional ways) because of its condition of constant negotiation. The “we”, referring to; the island Aruba, the community or the individual is incapable of giving an exact definition. This constant negotiation is thus a manifestation of diversity that shows us a fundamental characteristic of the Caribbean. The “we”, “nos”, “Rubiano”, “Rubianonan”[1], is an ongoing negotiation of the diversity of its people. In the search of identity, the collective unconscious recognizes an “under the surface” link and this manifests itself as seeing Trinidad as a prototype to follow. Apart from the existing link the Dutch Caribbean has with the Netherlands the work hints at the historical link Aruba has with Trinidad & Tobago. Together with Curacao, these three islands experienced a hyper industrial period, which was brought on by the arrival of oil refineries. The hyper industrial period is a link that the collective unconscious recognizes as a new beginning.
[1] Rubiano, Rubianonan means Aruban, Arubans in the Papiamentu language.

See more on the artist's work here