Sunday, July 15, 2018

Global South Updates

How Jason deCaries Taylor Built the Largest Underwater Sculpture

Just off the coast of New Providence, Bahamas, is Jason deCaires Taylor‘s 18 foot, 60 ton Ocean Atlas statue of a young Bahamian girl who appears to be holding up the ocean just as Atlas held up the heavens. Here Taylor, the creator of Grenada’s Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, explains how he did it. More>>

Our Affiliate Joan Duran & MID51's Sara Martinez Explore Western Art Modalities Encountering Global South Realities at DAK’ART 2018: this this stunning image and text rumination>> 
See Also: Marisol Rodríguez on Curating Dak'Art 2018
See Also: Yasser Musa in Bitacora

New Danish Monument by Jeanette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle Memorializes Virgin Islands Slave Revolt Leader Mary Thomas

Few remember that the Virgin Islands was once a Danish colony, but our friend, Danish artist of Trini descent Jeannette Ehlers, teamed up with Virgin Islands artist La Vaughn Belle to create a 23 feet tall monumental sculpture: I Am Queen  Mary.  Premiered in Copenhagen on March 31st, it is the first large scale public art work based on Denmark’s colonial role in the Caribbean and those who fought against it. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sale  of the Virgin Islands to the United States in March 1917, it reflects on Denmark’s slave legacy and its colonial past as it reveals how artists can be leaders in this conversation. Read More>>   See Also: Ehlers' Black Magic at the White House>>

Vodou Curse Hits Human Traffickers in Kingdom of Benin

On March 9, Oba Ewuare II, the traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin, in southern Nigeria, put a voodoo curse on anyone who abets illegal migration in his domain. The oba has authority over all the spiritual priests in the Benin kingdom. He summoned them to his palace that Friday to make his announcement. David Edebiri, a high-ranking traditional leader, was there, and described what happened during the ceremony. First the oba “released all those bound by juju.” Then he put a curse on the head of any priest who makes “any concoction for anybody with a view to promoting any immigration to any part of the world.” This curse, Mr. Edebiri “manifests in various ways: Some may die mysteriously, some may go mad in the street...” More>>

Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 by Jose de Salazar y Mendoza / Ogden Museum. "Ultimately, it was New Orleans' global, often exotic citizenry that made it such a rich milieu for portrait painters and nowhere is that more evident than in Salazar's portrait of Marianne Celeste Dragon, a Creole of French and Greek ancestry whose charismatic presence epitomized the social mutability of this city's unusually prominent mixed race community. Swathed in blue silk and pearls, she lives on as a kind of Louisiana Mona Lisa, mysterious not for her coyness, but because she appears so completely at ease with who she was, in a place and time unlike any other..." More>>

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Voodoo as Community Activism: Kristina Kay Robinson's Temple of Color and Sound

"The Temple of Color and Sound is a traveling shrine dedicated to the city of New Orleans. The Temple is in part a meditation on homelessness, life outdoors, outside of state control and what sacred space might look like in that context. Dedicated to all the ancestors, elevated spirits, and most especially Mother Marie Laveau... In New Orleans Voodoo, Marie Laveau is more than a queen, she is revered as loa. The loa are the elevated spirits. The intermediaries between God & humanity that bring us closer to the BELOVED than we could ever get on our own... Being a Black woman from the Deep South, I’ve been told who & what I wasn’t, so many times I’ve lost count. But Marie can remind us all of who we are, where we come from and what we can accomplish. That there is too much blood in this dirt to count us out. “Voodoo” means many things to many people, but for me and my lineage, it has always been about the harnessing of will coupled with respect for the laws of creation as vehicles toward creating change. I do not always understand her orders, but I always obey them. And because she walks with me, I know I am never alone. None of us are. Click the link to read the short piece I wrote on her for GoNOLA‘s series on ‘Notable NOLA Women." ~Kristina Kay Robinson: The Temple of Color and SoundCrescent City Boxing Gym, 3101 Erato St., Tuesdays 12 - 4  / Thursdays 12 - 4 & 6 - 8pm, through May 6.  More>>

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tout-Monde Festival: Miami: March 1 - 12

"Opening up to the Caribbean is opening up to the world," 
Édouard Glissant (1928-2011)

The Tout-Monde Festival, March 1 - 12, presents contemporary productions from the Caribbean, spanning across all fields: visual and performing arts, music, dance, theatre, film and literature. Reflecting the spirit and philosophy of Edouard Glissant's  "Tout-Monde” view of the relation between territories, cultures and individuals as multiple roots in one “whole world”— the festival connects the United States and the wider Caribbean region with emphasis on the meaning of the “Tout-Monde” today. Curated by two internationnally renowned French Caribbean curators, Johanna Auguiac and Claire Tancons, and directed by the Cultural Attaché of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the USA, Vanessa Selk, the first edition of the festival will center on the theme of Hétéronomonde, confronting ideas of heteronomy and autonomy within the Tout-Monde. This edition features 17 artists and authors from the French Antilles—Guadeloupe, French Guyana and Martinique—invited to present their performances, their artwork, but also their films or their published works, in dialogue with 7 other Caribbean artists and authors from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haïti, Puerto-Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. More>>

Read: More on Glissant Here

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Relational Undercurrents: What Binds Art and Ideas in the Polyglot Caribbean?

“These are places that weren’t supposed to be places,” says Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier. “You have a location where competing European kingdoms created external labor camps to enrich themselves …” The Caribbean has mountains and lowlands; tropical weather and dry. It is home to people who bear indigenous, African, European and Asian roots and speak English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Kreyol. Over the centuries, its myriad nations have been governed by colonial authority, monarchy, democracy, dictatorship... Relational Undercurrents  doesn’t seek to define the Caribbean, nor to capture the breadth of its experience. Instead, it zooms in on points of connection, looking for ideas that bind, rather than the red lines that divide. The result is built around themes that transcend language, politics and the old colonial divides — and that pierce the trope of island paradise. More >>