galvanize graphics by bruce cayone

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Galvanize 2006: "Visibly Absent" artists & draft schedule of events

The core of Galvanize 2006 is the "Visibly Absent" exhibition programme: nine projects by emerging artists shown at non-traditional sites in and around Port of Spain. The nine participating artists are Akuzuru, Tessa Alexander, Sabrina Charran, Gerard Gaskin, Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, Parker Nicholas, Nikolai Noel, and Alex Smailes.

CCA will provide logistical support for the nine projects, and the Galvanize advisory board will work with the artists to develop their ideas in the specific contexts of the physical sites where they will be created and shown.

In the coming weeks, more information about the nine artists and their projects will be posted on this weblog.

Key dates (still subject to change):

14 September 2006: Galvanize launch. Venue: CCA7.

15 September 2006: Openings of first three "Visibly Absent" artists' projects. Venues to be announced.

20 September 2006: Symposium 1: The Visual Arts Environment programme, twenty years later. Venue to be announced.

28 September 2006: Openings of next three "Visibly Absent" artists' projects. Venues to be announced.

4 October 2006: Symposium 2: "What is worth talking about?": architecture, design, and urbanism. Venue to be announced.

12 October 2006: Openings of final three "Visibly Absent" artists' projects. Venues to be announced.

25 October 2006: Symposium 3: Galvanize post-mortem. Venue to be announced.

26 October 2006: Formal close of Galvanize 2006. Venue to be announced.

Dates for literary and performance events and video screenings will be announced shortly.

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Call for artists' videos

Galvanize wishes to invite artists based in the Caribbean as well as Caribbean artists based internationally to submit video works for the 2006 programme, which will take place in Port of Spain, Trinidad, from 14 September to 26 October, with the theme "Visibly Absent".


Please provide:

1. A brief artist's statement and a synopsis of the video work(s) (100 words maximum).
2. Your full name and contact information: mailing address, phone numbers, and email address.
3. A CV as well as photocopies of relevant articles on or reviews of your work, samples of your own writing, or exhibition catalogues.

Visual material:

Please submit a maximum of two DVDs, single channel, suitable for either projection or viewing on a monitor. Provide instructions for navigating DVD menus. Also provide the title and total running time, and information on the original format/medium (eg film or video, as well as projection specifications), with with a one- or two-sentence description.

If you would like your visual materials returned, you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE).

While all applications will be handled with care, Galvanize cannot be responsible for damage or loss of submitted materials. If you do not enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your application, we will assume you do not want your materials returned. Please do not send original or irreplaceable material.

Galvanize retains the right to publish photographs and text(s) from work(s) selected for exhibit in promotional material relating to the event. Such content will not be used in any other form, unless specifically authorised by the artist, as in the case of a publication.

All documents must be on 8.5" x 11" paper.

IMPORTANT: All documents should be labelled with your name and contact information. Applications must reach the CCA office by Thursday, 7 September, 2006.

For further information, contact

Mail applications to:
Caribbean Contemporary Arts
CCA 7, Building Number 7,
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road, Laventille, Port of Spain,
Trinidad, West Indies.
Voice: 625 1889 or 625 6805
Fax: (624 0695)

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Friday, July 28, 2006

galvanize selection committee

Meeting of the selection committee of the Galvanize contemporary arts programme at CCA7, 17 July 2006. From left: Christopher Cozier, Nicholas Laughlin, Steve Ouditt, and Peter Doig. Photo taken by the committee's fifth member, Mario Lewis

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

(Towards a statement of purpose)

What is "Caribbean" art? ("Art" in the widest sense, encompassing the visual, the musical, the literary, the performative etc.) Who decides? What should it look like, sound like, feel like? What should it be trying to do? Forty years after the "Independence moment" of the 1950s and 1960s, these are increasingly crucial, troubling, and stimulating questions for artists in the Caribbean, as well as their audiences.

There is a sense in which those artists who were in their prime during this "Independence moment" scripted--and continue to script--the narrative of Caribbean art. They devised the models, they created the mythologies, they cleared spaces, their works and their personas came to define what art in the Caribbean can and ought to be and do. But the Caribbean has changed radically in the last forty years. Are the celebrated models and definitions still relevant? Can they be adapted? Must they be replaced? By whom? For whom?

These are questions no single person can answer, and the familiar method of making soapbox declarations and issuing manifestos seems to lead to antagonisms and misunderstandings. What we need, perhaps, is to engage more consciously in a process of conversation, where everyone is both a speaker and a listener, where problems and questions are tackled from many directions at once, where above all we pay real attention to each other, make a real attempt to engage in understanding.

The ultimate aim of Galvanize is the establishment of a regular (annual or biennial?) series of arts programmes based in Port of Spain and tackling the above questions and many others by bringing artists, critics, and audiences into fruitful conversations. The presence of several hundred artists and arts administrators in Trinidad in September 2006 for Carifesta IX is the stimulus for starting this project--you could say we've been galvanised into action by the resurrection of Carifesta--but this project is best thought of as an independent effort aimed at addressing precisely those questions that Carifesta, with its "Independence moment" origins, seems blind to.

Galvanise 2006 is a modest effort to get the conversation started--call it a prototype.

Focusing on art in Trinidad and Tobago, to start with, the Galvanise team/collective will coordinate a series of exhibition, performance, and discussion events in which a selected group of artists, writers, musicians, performers, and critics will get the conversation going, with the hope of staging a larger, more ambitious event along similar lines in 2007.

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