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.

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.