Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An evening with Ajamu

Tuesday 1 July, 2014, 7 pm, at Alice Yard

Ajamu is a London-based artist, known for his photographs depicting black male sexuality. In June and July 2014, he is participating in the first artist’s residency hosted by CAISO (the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation), with support from Alice Yard.

On Tuesday 1 July, from 7 pm, Alice Yard will host an informal evening to welcome Ajamu and introduce him to members of the local arts and LGBTI communities. This will include a digital installation of some of the artist’s recent work, and a short introduction to his activities in Trinidad.

All are invited.

About Ajamu:

Ajamu is an acclaimed London-based artist, archive curator, and sex activist, known for his fine art portraits and unapologetic imagery of black male sexuality and same-sex desire. He works in large-format black-and-white analogue photography and traditional 19th-century printing processes.

His work has been exhibited in various galleries, museums, and alternative spaces in the UK, Europe, and the United States. His most recent exhibition, Fierce (2013), ran at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, and included 25 platinum prints of young Black LGBTQ “movers and shakers” and a 20-minute short film with a selection of the sitters.

Ajamu is co-founder of the award-winning organisation rukus! Federation and the rukus! Black LGBTQ Arts and cultural archive. He is one of the UK’s leading specialists on Black Queer heritage.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A conversation with curator Courtney J. Martin

Tuesday 17 June, 2014, 7 pm, at Alice Yard 

Courtney J. Martin is an art historian and curator based at Brown University. In June 2014 she will participate in a short curatorial residency at Alice Yard, exploring developments in Trinidad’s art scene. On Tuesday 17 June, at 7 pm, she will give an informal talk about her curatorial practice.

All are invited.

About Courtney J. Martin:

Courtney J. Martin is an assistant professor in the History of Art and Architecture department at Brown University, and the author of lengthy essays on the work of many contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, Kader Attia, Rina Banerjee, Frank Bowling, Leslie Hewitt, Wangechi Mutu, Ed Ruscha, and Yinka Shonibare. In 2012, she curated a focus display of Frank Bowling’s painting at Tate Britain.

Prior to Brown, she was an assistant professor in the History of Art department at Vanderbilt University (2010-2013); Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art at the University of California at Berkeley (2009-2010); a fellow at the Getty Research Institute (2008-2009); and a Henry Moore Institute Research Fellow (2007). She received a doctorate from Yale University in 2009. She also worked in the media, arts, and culture unit of the Ford Foundation in New York.

Her writing has appeared in Art Asia Pacific, Artforum.com, Art Papers, Contemporary, Flashart, Frieze, the Getty Research Journal, and NKA. In 2014, she is working on a manuscript about British art and politics after 1968, co-curating an exhibition of post-minimalist art in Denmark, and co-editing a volume of essays on the critic/curator Lawrence Alloway.

Read Martin’s essay “They’ve All Got Painting: Frank Bowling’s Modernity and the Post-1960 Atlantic”, originally published in the catalogue for Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing

The Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing, inaugurated in 2014, is an annual award for an original piece of critical writing on contemporary Caribbean art by a Caribbean writer aged 35 or under.

Established by Alice Yard, the prize aims to encourage new writing on Caribbean art and artists, and to identify emerging voices in contemporary Caribbean art criticism.

The winner of the prize will receive a cash award of US$1,000 and publication in The Caribbean Review of Books. The inaugural prize will open for entries in May 2014, with a deadline of 14 July. The winner will be announced in September 2014 to commemorate Alice Yard’s eighth anniversary.

Download full eligibility and entry guidelines and the prize entry form here.

To be eligible to enter for the 2014 prize, a writer must be a citizen of the Caribbean, whether resident in the region or abroad, and be under the age of 35 on the entry deadline, 14 July, 2014.

Each participant may submit only one entry. Participants need not have a formal background in art history or criticism.

An entry should:

• Be an original piece of writing of no more than 3,000 words, which has not previously been published in print or online;

• Be written in English (or, if originally written in another language, translated into English by the author);

• Examine a work or a series of works by a contemporary Caribbean artist, resident in the region or abroad;

• Be aimed at an intelligent general audience as much as an academic or professional one.

A piece of writing entered for the prize does not have to be a conventional critical essay or review. The prize administrators are interested in writing that investigates different forms and genres, as long as it is driven by genuine critical engagement.

The prize will be decided by a panel of three judges, who will select a winner and two honorable mentions. The 2014 judges are:

Krista Thompson (Bahamas/US), chair
Art historian and curator
Associate professor of art history, Northwestern University

Charles Campbell (Jamaica/Canada)
Artist and curator
Chief curator, National Gallery of Jamaica

Courtney J. Martin (US)
Art historian and curator
Assistant professor of the history of art and architecture, Brown University

The Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing is conceived and established by the co-directors of Alice Yard, Sean Leonard, Christopher Cozier, and Nicholas Laughlin, who will administer the prize and support the panel of judges in their deliberations.

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the submission process, please contact the prize administrators at:


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Al Braithwaite: The Limes Installation

Tuesday 13 May to Saturday 7 June, 2014, at Alice Yard
Opening conversation: Tuesday 13 May, 6.30 pm

Al Braithwaite is a British conceptual artist who has been resident in Trinidad since April 2013, having relocated from London. In recent months he has been working out of Alice Yard’s Granderson Lab space in Belmont.

Braithwaite’s new project The Limes Installation opens at Alice Yard on Tuesday 13 May, with an informal conversation in which the artist will discuss his recent work. The Limes Installation can be viewed until the night of Saturday 7 June, when the project will close with an informal get-together.

The Limes Installation is a crop of limes that has been pulled out of the fire. The installation comprises 286 charred fruit. The artist writes:

“As a symbolic device placed in its historic context, the installation continues the tradition of fruit being used in art to symbolise mortal flesh, recalling the Dutch 17th-century Vanitas painting tradition. It revisits this tradition together with an earlier (mid-16th century) tradition of burning heretics during the English Reformation, during the reign of Mary I. The names of the 286 men and women who died for their faith in this way for resisting papal authority are applied to labels on the exterior of the fruits.

“The capacity for the installation to horrify is written into the limes’ seared surface, creating a memorial to aspects of resistance, state-sanctioned brutality, and sectarian tensions among believers. The troubling and potentially heroic idea of self-sacrifice runs through The Limes Installation, and finds traction in the metaphor of the way that a fruit might give its flesh for the dispersal of a seed.

“The black skin of each object is curious in its lifeless, post-catastrophe state, and attests to the depredations and violence visited on its surface. Such a feeling of aftermath reinforces the question of the whereabouts/cultural memory of the absent souls that have been expunged from their physical bodies. The work hinges on a paradox of the action of fire: that it can preserve as it consumes, turning soft ephemeral forms into archival tokens. In this way, fluid and seasonal material can be transformed into a series of turgid vessels, akin, for instance, to the transformation of clay when passed through a kiln. The fragile breakability of the resulting vessels can heighten the sense of care required to maintain each object’s integrity, through periods of political crisis and periods of natural disaster.”

All are invited.

About Al Braithwaite:

Al Braithwaite (b. 1979) is a contemporary artist from London, who works across a variety of disciplines, including sculpture, assemblage, found material, and installation. His work fits into a tradition of conceptual art, recalling Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, and aspects of Orphism. He links his work to an interest in struggle, addressing concurrent themes in geopolitics, ethics, metaphysics, mysticism, and existentialism. He has been resident in Trinidad since April 2013.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Douen Islands: In Forest & Wild Skies

Saturday 12 April, 2014, 8 pm, at Alice Yard

Douen Islands is an ongoing, open collaborative project — featuring writers, poets, musicians, artists, photographers, and others — first launched on All Hallow’s Eve, 2013, by poet Andre Bagoo and designer Kriston Chen.

On Saturday 12 April, Alice Yard will host an event by the Douen Islands collaborators, as part of the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest pre-festival programme. Douen Islands: In Forest & Wild Skies will be a reading of poetry and prose produced as part of an ongoing collaboration around the Trinidad and Tobago folklore character of the douen, a haunted child spirit.

The event will feature poetry from Andre Bagoo and Shivanee Ramlochan and prose from Sharon Millar. This will involve moving images by Kriston Chen and sitar recordings from Sharda Patasar.

The collaborators state: “Douen Islands is a journey, unearthing what is lost — the furtive child foraging through darkened forest; tricked by moonlight into a vacant past; vanishing, like love and blood, into wild skies. A slippery stream flowing out of this post-Independence country, trek into heat, memory, nightmare, dream. Take back the steps we never took. Seek to find.”

All are invited.

Read an interview with Bagoo and Chen about the Douen Islands project at Antilles, the Caribbean Review of Books blog.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Five by Night: new fiction from T&T, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest

Tuesday 25 March, 2014, 8 pm, at Alice Yard

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest presents an evening of new and recent fiction from five Trinidadian writers, as part of the programme for the Diasporic Literary Archives workshop in Port of Spain. 2013 OCM Bocas Prizewinner Monique Roffey will join 2013 Hollick Arvon Prizewinner Barbara Jenkins and writers Vashti Bowlah, Sharon Millar, and Alake Pilgrim, all past Bocas authors, at an informal reading session at Alice Yard. This event is part of the pre-festival programme for the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

All are invited.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christopher Cozier: One Night Collaborations, version 2

Tuesday 18 March, 2014, 8 pm, at Alice Yard

Christopher Cozier is a Trinidadian artist and writer, and a co-director of Alice Yard. On the night of Tuesday 18 March, to accompany the award ceremony for his 2013 Prince Claus Award, he will stage three experimental and interactive projects at Alice Yard, involving a range of collaborators. The event is open to the public from 8 pm, and audience members are invited to record the proceedings with their cameras and phones, and post the documentation online.

The evening will include:

• The latest version of Sound System, a project which began in 2001 and has thirteen years of accumulated audio contributions, with mixes by Robin Foster, Martin Raymond, Daniel Haun, and Kevon Walker, and sound elements by Sheldon Holder, Christian Campbell, Chantal Esdelle, Sheena Rose, Ebony G. Patterson, Yvette Grey, Jomo Slusher, and Cozier himself. This is the first time the work will be presented in Trinidad. The street installation is presented with the support of Suspex Auto Club.

• A series of animated projected sequences by Nadia Huggins, Rodell Warner, and North Eleven, interpretations of Coziers recent project The Arrest: Hands Up, Hand Out.

Made in China, a live action in collaboration with Sean Rambarran.

All are invited.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jean-Louis Huhta: EXOTICA 2014

Thursday Feb / 6th /  7.30pm

A mixed-media collaboration between Nanna Dalunde, Jean-Louis Huhta and Rodell Warner

Partners Nanna and Jean-Louis have been on a tour performing in NYC as Dungeon Acid at the music festival, Swedish Energies, after that they participated in the Ghetto Biennial in Port au Prince Haiti, with Per Hüttner and our X-Klubb collective. On December 17th, they came to Trinidad and were hosted at Alice Yard and began interacting with various artists and musicians.

Jean-louis has family in T&T  and went to school in Arouca in his childhood.
"A lot has changed since then" he observed. "Together we explore memories impressions, how the sea was and is now,  recording sound, filming and building the world of Exotica 2014...It's a play on a  music style from the 50's... A time travel, a scene from the future where a plastic bottle on a beach 
is a mysterious piece of nature or technology, the sounds of the birds become integrated
with the machines mimicking nature...A meditation on the time it takes for the sea to shape corrals... 
Shapes from the deep sea speak to us in our dreams telling their stories..'Sunken City' a tune recorded in the 60's by composer Les Baxter . The 5 minute piece  has been stretched to three hours in duration The character of the music changes drastically into a spooky angelic kind of soothing drone..."