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.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Announcing the winner of the inaugural Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing

The co-directors of Alice Yard are pleased to announce that the winner of the inaugural Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing is Stephen Narain, born in the Bahamas and now living in the United States.

From the shortlist of five writers, two more have been selected for honourable mention: Katherine Kennedy of Barbados and Nicole Smythe-Johnson of Jamaica.

The other shortlisted writers are Brandon O’Brien of Trinidad and Tobago and Aiko Maya Roudette of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The winner was selected by Alice Yard’s co-directors after consulting with the judges and reviewing their notes and comments. Narain’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Virtual Reproduction” stood out for its unconventional angle of approach, its range of inquiry, and its attempt to consider the visual in a broader context that includes the literary. The essay grapples with the implications of ubiquitous digital media for the way we now experience and circulate visual culture.

Narain will receive a cash award of US$1,000, and his essay, along with Kennedy’s and Smythe-Johnson’s, will be published in The Caribbean Review of Books.

Launched by Alice Yard in 2014, the prize is an annual award for an original piece of critical writing on contemporary Caribbean art by a Caribbean writer aged 35 or under. It aims to encourage new writing on Caribbean art and artists, and to identify emerging voices in contemporary Caribbean art criticism. Originally it was expected that the winner of the inaugural prize would be announced in late 2014. Despite the delay in the timetable, the prize will continue to be awarded annually, and the 2015 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing will open for entries in September.

The co-directors of Alice Yard wish to thank the 2014 prize judges — Krista Thompson, Charles Campbell, and Courtney J. Martin — for their time and critical engagement.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A conversation with Lola Flash

Thursday 30 July, 2015, at 7 pm

New York–based photographer Lola Flash will be artist in residence at Alice Yard from late July to late August 2015. On Thursday 30 July, at 7 pm, Flash will give an informal talk on her recent work and the projects she will pursue during her time in Trinidad. These include two portrait series for which she is seeking models.

All are invited.

About the artist:

Lola Flash uses photography to challenge stereotypes and offer new ways of seeing that transcend and interrogate gender, sexual, and racial norms. She received her BA from Maryland Institute College of Art and her Masters from London College of Printing in the United Kingdom. Flash works primarily in portraiture with a 4x5 film camera. In 2008, she was a resident at Light Work. Most recently, Flash was awarded an Art Matters grant, which allowed her to further two photographic series, [sur]passing and Surmise, in Brazil and London. Flash’s work is included in important public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her work is featured in the publication Posing Beauty, edited by Deborah Willis, and currently on exhibit across the United States. Her work is also featured in the current award-winning film Through A Lens Darkly. Flash’s work welcomes audiences who are willing to not only look but see.

Portraits from the Surmise series

Monday, July 20, 2015

Regime of Forgetting

Nikolai M. Noel / Matthew P. Shelton
21 to 26 July, 2015

From 21 to 26 July, 2015, artists Nikolai M. Noel and Matthew P. Shelton will open a portal between 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and Alice Yard in Port of Spain, via web stream. Over the course of the week, from their respective locations, each artist will make the same series of artworks that reference cartography, astrological charts, and divination. Incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives on history and memory, they will produce a trail of twin objects, actions, and marks as they continue their ongoing attempt to discover the Other.

About the artists:

Since 2011, Nikolai Mahesh Noel (b. 1976, Port of Spain), and Matthew P. Shelton (b. 1982, Danbury, North Carolina) have fed their curiosity about the individual as a historical creation and the aftershocks of colonialism through conversation and discursive art projects. Their collaboration utilises the artists’ respective subject positions for an inquiry into concerns about the self, otherness, power, and memory.

Noel is a person of African and Indian heritage from Trinidad and Tobago, and Shelton is a white Southerner; both are coming to terms with the ramifications of those designations within their respective homelands’ differing amnesias. While Shelton and Noel maintain a web-based, epistolary practice, they periodically activate their dialogue materially, as they did in their project CONSTELLATIONS%ARCHIPELAGOS, a 2012 collaboration and exhibit at the ICA at Maine College of Art in Portland. Regime of Forgetting resumes their object-oriented work together.

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.