Thursday, November 20, 2008

ongoing thoughts

Benches in hand
ongoing thoughts...little hand printed and cut out benches,(implying much hope? )
There is also the “pira” or the little bench that refers to small incremental gestures that build up over time. This what I feel that I am going after with my little daily drawings.
It’s the kind of bench that people use to do simple humble daily things like weeding a garden or vending at the side of the road or shining a shoe and so on. It’s often portable and is often intriguingly worn or weathered into shape by use over extended periods of time. I feel that these little gestures are the foundation of a global economic reality that is not seen for what it is. Often it is discussed as some kind of inefficient and errant form. A messy problem to be corrected or reformed. This is why I brought it together with the old Colonial map - for the moment.
Line - up in Chicago
Further thoughts:10/03/09
Is Hope an idea or a concept that is easily materialized or inferred? Maybe not - because it may be an active conjuring or imagining of possibility? I was attracted to the bench design as it recalled a modest however naïve and idealistic time in my life. A time in which I was not too “exposed,” so to speak, and so I had to figure ways or functioning with very little in hand. By the way, then, the “little in hand,” felt like the world and the ability to transform these few things through imaginative reverie, as, for example, in the games of childhood, was quite exhilarating.
It all keeps coming back to me when I see the way these little work-benches are put together or designed. Designed is the better word as it implies a solidity of intent.
I was concerned with ( inspired by?) the make-shift which I knew and had come to understand, even accept in a place like Trinidad . However its familiarity was less than comforting or consoling than it was comfortable or accommodating.
Through my knowledge and or familiarity, a tension lingered in my mind/sense between the formor process being “ all I know” or just “what I know.”
So I keep drawing and investigating this bench form.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Canape Vért
Working at Place public Canape Vért with local artists and various children who just joined in. I worked with Karim Bléus, artist and sign painter, as well as with artist Tessa Mars who translated my text into creole. See hers and mine here - "creole text"
Tessa translating
I am not sure if the image done on ply-board with house paint worked out but the process of working outdoors in a public space and the resulting comments were interesting. Habdaphai, of Martinique, as well as Edwige Aplogan of Benin worked with other artists at the same location. This was all part of the Forum Transculturel de Port-au-Prince. Click on the images also to see more in Flickr.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Child's shoes, Haiti

Child's shoes, Haiti

This was the only photo from for my entire time while in Haiti. On my last visit, I just could not take pictures. I had to ask a colleague ( Karole Gizolme ) to take this image for me. I noticed the shoes on the ground near to where I was sitting. Something about the way that the shoes had become so worn out struck me. I kept thinking that no one growing child could have worn that shoe long enough for it to become so worn down. The shoes were just on the ground in a yard in the Capital. They looked like islands in the sea but also like the two countries that make one island facing off. The hardness of the ground and light had an effect on me also. I go to Haiti this week to do another project. The shoes also reminded me of the way that very similar, or the same, cheap items move around the globe. The same kinds of shoes can be bought Port of Spain, Johannesburg or Paramaibo, for example. I have been thinking about these shoes ever since.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sound System ( version 2 )

SUV pumping sound
Car park of the Philipsburg Cultural Center, St Maarten.
Click on the images for more details.
I arranged with two DJs with cool and very loud sub-woofer systems in their cars to pull-up in the car park, behind the exhibition space, to play the sequences. They also mixed in other stuff of their own when they felt like it. This was my contribution to DVG’s ( Diaspora Vibe Gallery ) workshop in St Maarten 2008....
Photo Deborah Jack
KICKER woofers
Kicker Sub-woofers in the trunk.
Photo Christopher Cozier.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bread on Wheels in Chicago

Bread on Wheels in Chicago
Click on the image to see more about this installation called " Once you have bread and wheels, you good to go " at the Chicago Cultural Center. The show is called "Here There Everywhere." Another version of the work is also on tour, in Canada, in "Reading the Image, Poetics of the Black Diaspora"