Another story

Submitted by Jeeraik009 on Thu, 09/16/2010 - 12:43

Three Moments/The Caribbean is the region's contribution to the Liverpool Biennial that opens at the Contemporary Urban Centre in the U.K. this weekend. Inspired by Stuart Hall's 2006 essay which explores three moments in black diaspora artistic practice, this exhibition turns the cultural theorist's concerns inside out by featuring artists  from the Bahamas, Barbados and Martinique whose works explore historical and contemporary global themes. Whereas Hall traced an artistic lineage of black diaspora art in Britain from the 1950s arrival of  artists such as Jamaica's Ronald Moody and Guyana's Aubrey Williams through to the destablising body-mapping of photograpers such a Rotimi Fani Kayoda and Joy Gregory in the 1990s, Three Moments/The Caribbean picks up the narrative afresh. Telling an 'other' story from outside western narratives of modernism and nationalism, it explores their ' 21st century modernist aesthetic' from a Caribbean perspective. The selected artists: Ewan Atkinson, John Beadle, Christian Bertin, Ras Ishi Butcher, Blue Curry, David Damoison, Lavar Munroe, Lynn Parotti, Ras Akyem- I Ramsey and Heino Schmidt are all from a post-independence generation who view their art practice in terms that prioritize their urban identities over their nationalistic ones, and they share an openness to explore their colonial past as well as their pluralized presents in ways that are provocative, challenging and engaging. Their display even suggests a break with more conventional notions of how Caribbean Art has centered historically around the larger islands of Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti to offer the imagery and experiences of smaller artistic communities in Nassau, Bridgetown and Fort de France. One concern might be the gender imbalance in the show since Lynn Parroti's Roadside Valentine Gift Baskets, Nassau, Bahamas,(2010) shown here, is the work of the single female artist in the show. This limited female representation suggests that the region's women artists still require greater visiblity in such international expositions. This might be something to consider for a future biennial as another 'other' story.