Sunday, July 5, 2015

“How to be here”


“In the eight and a half years since the founding of Alice Yard, one of our primary concerns — both practical and conceptual — has been vocabulary. How do we describe and define what Alice Yard is, our evolving sense of purpose and method, the organic structures which have grown around this enterprise?

“Alice Yard began not with a mission or an agenda, but with an opportunity and a series of questions. The opportunity was to take a modest domestic urban space — literally the backyard of a house in west Port of Spain — and open it to the imaginative investigation of artists, musicians, writers, and others. The questions were if, why, and how this creative community would respond.

“Their answers have been unpredictable, illuminating, occasionally frustrating, occasionally inspiring. And they have challenged us to devise a language focused enough to discuss the particularities of our space and time, but also expansive enough to comprehend the organic openness of a process that has never had a specific end in sight.”

From “How to be here”, an essay by Alice Yard co-director Nicholas Laughlin, included in You Are Here — Rethinking Residencies, an e-book and website recently published by the Factory of Art and Design in Copenhagen, following on from a seminar on the same topic in June 2013.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lauren Marsden: ECSTATIC TIME

Screening one night only
Friday 22 May, 2015, from 7 pm



Lauren Marsden, still from Against a Brick Wall, HD Video and animated GIF, 2015

During her time in Trinidad, Alice Yard’s current artist in residence Lauren Marsden has made a new series of media artworks called ECSTATIC TIME. Her project responds to a sense of place through the mediums of slow-motion videography and animated photography. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “ecstatic time,” her project presents a set of short, looping videos and animated GIFs that document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Performed by family members, friends, acquaintances, and local dancers, these brief gestures (some staged, some spontaneous) portray a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local cultural context. During interactions with the natural and built environments of Trinidad, her characters defy gravity, dive in and out, hide in plain sight, push forward, retreat ... (and repeat).

On Friday 22 May, Marsden will present ECSTATIC TIME at a one-night event at Alice Yard.

Artist talk: 7.00 pm
Screening: 8.30 pm
Reception to follow

All are invited.

About the artist:

Lauren Marsden, who has family roots in Trinidad, received a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited her work at the Victoria Film Festival, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Frutta Gallery in Rome, Italy. She is currently teaching at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and is the editor of Decoy Magazine, a Vancouver-based online platform for critical arts writing.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A conversation with Kellie Romany

Thursday 21 May, 2015, 7 pm



18, 32, 35; oil on board, 6"x6", 2014

Kellie Romany is an abstract, non-representational, figurative painter interested in bodily representation, materiality, and the history of the painting process. Born in Trinidad, she moved to the United States in the late 1990s. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Romany has exhibited both in the US and internationally, including Stan McCollum Gallery in Atlanta, Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, Parade Ground Gallery in New York, Amel Bourouina Gallery in Berlin, Germany, and Minninger Gallery in Cologne, Germany.

On Thursday 21 May, at 7 pm, Romany will give a short informal slide presentation on her work at Alice Yard. After the presentation, Romany will engage in a discussion with her mother, Jasmine Loney. While Romany’s work has always dealt with familial narrative, she very rarely speaks to her family about her work. This performance will allow the audience to experience an intimate moment in which the artist exposes herself to the questions of her mother.

All are invited.

Friday, April 17, 2015

ECSTATIC TIME: Media Works in Progress by Lauren Marsden

Friday 17 to Friday 24 April, 2015, at Alice Yard
7 pm to 10 pm each night



For the next seven nights, Alice Yard artist in residence Lauren Marsden will be screening new video works in the Alice Yard space. Each night, a different image from her project ECSTATIC TIME will be on display. Come by and meet the artist and see her work in progress.

As part of the Trinidadian diaspora, Marsden has been using her time at Alice Yard to respond to a sense of place, through the mediums of slow-motion videography and animated photography. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “Ecstatic Time,” her project at Alice Yard involves the creation of an index of short looping videos and animated GIFs that document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Using family members, friends, acquaintances, and local dancers as her subjects, these brief gestures (some staged, some spontaneous) have been documented and edited to portray a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local cultural context.

Zong!: Hearing Voices

Tuesday 21 April, 2015, 7.30 pm

Alice Yard invites you to a reading/performance by M. NourbeSe Philip, from her celebrated book Zong!

















Professor Patricia Saunders of the University of Miami will introduce the event.
 
— It can’t be told; it must be told! It can only be told by its untelling. Hauntological and polyvocal, Zong! addresses the lacunae in the fabric of “History“ and tempts, even as it attempts, a remembering, an unforgetting. Through modes of repetition in the unequal exchange of sound for silence,  Zong! limns the poetics of the fragment to ex-aqua the infinite in memory. —

M. Nourbese Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright (and former lawyer) who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. Author of five books of poetry, one novel, and three collections of essays, her most recent work, Zong!, is a genre-breaking, book-length poem which engages with law, history, and memory as they relate to the transatlantic slave trade. Winner of many awards, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships and the Arts Foundation of Toronto Writing and Publishing Award, she is also a Dora Award finalist for her play Coups and Calypsos.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Introducing Lauren Marsden

Artist in residence, March to May 2015


Alice Yard’s current artist in residence, during the period March to May 2015, is Vancouver-based Lauren Marsden.

Her practice involves various forms, including performance, video, photography, and texts. Using devices such as voice-over narration, ritual gestures, camera movement, and descriptive text, her projects interact with contentious sites, often through the perspective of a misplaced or unreliable narrator.

Marsden is interested in challenging what might constitute a performance and how it is recorded or circulated. For example, she has staged events involving choreographed etiquette drills in a public library, hired paparazzi photographing inanimate objects, a flag-raising on a demilitarised island, the filming of a horror movie with no actors, and conducting an auction that sells itself. She works in collaboration with a range of creative professionals, using a style of direction called structured improvisation, which allows others to articulate their unique skills within the conceptual parameters of a piece.

Her project at Alice Yard will involve creating an index of short looping videos and animated GIFs that will document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “Ecstatic Time,” these brief performances will manifest a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local, cultural context. See more at her project Tumblr page, laurenaubreymarsden.tumblr.com

Lauren Marsden as Miss Department of Energy. Shot on location at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Diego, California

Marsden, who has family roots in Trinidad, received a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited her work at the Victoria Film Festival, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Frutta Gallery in Rome, Italy. She is currently teaching at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and is the editor of Decoy Magazine, a Vancouver-based online platform for critical arts writing.

laurenmarsden.com
vimeo.com/laurenmarsden

Friday, February 20, 2015

A conversation with Kaneesha Parsard

Monday 23 February, 2015, 7 pm, at Alice Yard

Michel Jean Cazabon, View of Port of Spain from Laventille Hill

Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard is a PhD candidate in American Studies, African American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. During the 2014-15 academic year, she has been based in Trinidad conducting research for her dissertation, “Improper Dwelling: Space, Sexuality, and Colonial Modernity in the British West Indies, 1838-1962.” In October 2014, Parsard was researcher in residence at Alice Yard.

On Monday 23 February, at 7 pm, Parsard will give an informal talk at Alice Yard, based on the section of her dissertation on nineteenth-century artist Michel Jean Cazabon. She will examine Cazabon’s body of work in the context of post-emancipation land use and planning, focusing on scenes that contain overgrown plant life, winding paths, and figures that cast gazes beyond the frame. These scenes reframe the nineteenth-century Trinidad landscape as anti-picturesque, a space that challenges control, order, and production.

All are invited.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Passing Presence

Gerard H. Gaskin, Roshini Kempadoo, and Camille Chedda
Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 January, 2015, at Alice Yard



Alice Yard begins the new year with two events featuring three visiting artists:

On Tuesday 6 January, at 7 pm, Gerard H. Gaskin and Roshini Kempadoo will join Alice Yard co-director Christopher Cozier for a conversation about images, archives, and visual histories, based on their recent work.

And on Thursday 8 January, also at 7 pm, artist in residence Camille Chedda will present her current untitled work in progress, created during her time at Alice Yard, which follows her recent investigations of the disposable and the degradable, temporality and violence.

All are invited.



Work in progress by Camille Chedda

About the artists:

Born in Trinidad and based in the United States, Gerard H. Gaskin earned a BA in Liberal Arts from Hunter College in 1994. As a freelance photographer, his work is widely published in newspapers and magazines in the United States and abroad, including The New York Times, Newsday, Politiken, Black Enterprise, Ebony, and others. Additional clientele are record companies including Island, Sony, Def Jam, and Mercury records. Gaskin’s photographs have also been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Duke University Gallery, Syracuse University Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Queens Museum of Arts, the Goethe-Institute in Accra, Ghana and Imagenes Havana in Cuba, as well as in the 2006 Galvanize programme in Port of Spain. His book Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene (Duke University Press) won the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography.

Roshini Kempadoo is a photographer, media artist, and lecturer at the University of East London. Her research, multimedia, and photographic projects combine factual and fictional re-imaginings of contemporary experiences with history and memory. Having worked as a social documentary photographer for the Format Women’s Picture Agency, Kempadoo’s recent work as a digital image artist includes photographs and screen-based interactive art installations that fictionalise Caribbean archive material, objects, and spaces. They combine sound, animations, and interactive use of objects, to introduce characters that once may have existed, evoking hidden and untold narratives. She is represented by Autograph ABP, London.

Camille Chedda was born in Manchester, Jamaica. She graduated from the Edna Manley College with an Honours Diploma in Painting, and received her MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Her works have been featured in major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Jamaica, including the 2014 Jamaica Biennial and New Roots (2013). She has also exhibited internationally in Boston, New York, Germany, and China. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Albert Huie Award, the Reed Foundation Scholarship, and the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award for an outstanding contribution to the 2014 Jamaica Biennial 2014. Chedda currently lectures in Painting at the Edna Manley College in Kingston, Jamaica.