Thursday, November 19, 2009

Akuzuru: Vein

Monday 23 November, 2009, at 8.00 pm

Part of Akuzuru's Earthology performance, India, 2008

To coincide with the 2009 Commonwealth People's Forum in Port of Spain, and to celebrate the Commonwealth Foundation's support for artists via the Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies, Alice Yard will host a new performance work by Trinidadian artist Akuzuru on the evening of Monday 23 November.

In 2008, Akuzuru spent several months living and working in India with the support of a Commonwealth arts residency. The result was Earthology, a "spatial work in three acts" incorporating large-scale sculptural installations and performance. The entire project is documented in a limited edition catalogue titled Earthology India.

Vein, the new work which Akuzuru will create at Alice Yard, is a further installment in what she conceives as an "epic opus" unfolding in locations around the world. The performance will begin at 8.00 pm and run for approximately 45 minutes.

The event will also include a small installation documenting the work of Nigerian artist Ugochukwu Bright Eke, who was artist-in-residence at Alice Yard in 2008, supported by the Commonwealth Foundation.

Vein is part of the programme for the Creativity and Innovation component of the Commonwealth People's Forum. Delegates to the forum and representatives of the Commonwealth Foundation will attend, and Alice Yard invites members of the public to come and join in an informal conversation about creative connections across the Commonwealth.

All are invited.

About the artist:

Akuzuru is an "experiential artist" known for her performances and large sculptural-installation works. Interdisciplinary in approach, she creates experiences, working primarily in the natural environment. She has had solo exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, and various locations in the Caribbean. She was artist-in-residence at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg in 2002 and a participant in the 2006 Galvanize programme in Trinidad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Esther Figueroa: Jamaica For Sale

Wednesday 18 November, 2009, at 7.30 pm

Jamaica for Sale is a feature-length documentary film about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism and unsustainable development in Jamaica, directed by Esther Figueroa and produced in collaboration with Diana McCaulay.

On Wednesday 18 November, Alice Yard will host the Trinidad and Tobago premiere of Jamaica For Sale, with director and producer Esther Figueroa in attendance. The film will be introduced by economist Norman Girvan, and afterwards Figueroa will engage the audience in an informal discussion.

All are invited.

The producers write:

“Though the Caribbean receives about five percent of the global tourist trade, it is the region most economically dependent on tourism. Heavily promoted since 1891 as the way to modernisation and prosperity, tourism has tragically failed in its promises, as Jamaica is one of the most indebted countries in the world. Lively, hard-hitting, with powerful voices, arresting visuals, and iconic music, Jamaica For Sale documents the environmental, economic, social, and cultural impacts of unsustainable tourism development. Filled with wit and penetrating observations from the streetwise to highly acclaimed academics, Jamaica For Sale engages with a cross section of Jamaicans: workers, small hoteliers, fishermen, community members, and environmentalists. As Jamaica is irreversibly transformed by massive hotel and luxury condominium development, Jamaica For Sale both documents this transformation and is trying to turn the tide. It is a cautionary tale not just for Jamaica, but all islands in the Caribbean.”

Winner of the audience award at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival and the Bronze Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival.

About the director:

Esther Figueroa is a Jamaican independent filmmaker, writer, educator, and linguist. She has twenty-five years’ experience in media production, including documentaries, educational videos, television programming, music videos, multimedia, web content, and feature film. An activist filmmaker, she focuses on local knowledge, indigenous cultures, social injustice, community empowerment, and the environment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Proyecto Capital

Friday 6 November, 2009, at 7.30 pm

Proyecto Capital is a collaboration among two Colombian artists, Alejandro Mina and Mar Molano, and Trinidadian artist Michelle Isava. As visitors to Trinidad, Mina and Molano were surprised by the number of small-denomination coins discarded in the streets of Port of Spain--money literally thrown away. Together with Isava, they began collecting coins from the streets of the capital city and documenting the process. The project will conclude with an installation of these found objects at Alice Yard, symbolically re-inserting this "capital" into circulation.

Isava writes:

"We have collected 500 5-cent coins, 987 25-cent coins, 498 10-cent coins, 7 50-cent coins (although they are no longer in use).... This installation seeks to give value to what is not valued here in Trinidad. To foreign eyes, coins on the streets are an absurd enigma that represents the extravagance and wealth of Trinidad and Tobago."

The project is documented at the Proyecto Capital blog.

The Proyecto Capital installation opens to the public at Alice Yard on Friday 6 November at 7.30 pm. Audience members can participate by taking the found coins away. All are invited.