galvanize graphics by bruce cayone

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Visibly Absent: Unease: An 8-Step Programme, by Jaime Lee Loy

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. This is the third in a series of notes on each artist and his or her project.

jaime lee loy the bath

"The Bath", a video still from Jaime Lee Loy's Unease: An 8-Step Programme--work in progress

Bio: Jaime Lee Loy was born in Trinidad in 1980. She obtained an honours BA degree at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, with a major in literature and a special in visual arts. She also won a scholarship to pursue her MPhil in literature at UWI, of which she has completed two years of study. She currently works as the exchange programme coordinator at Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA), and has been experimenting with video for five years, after exhibiting her paintings in over a dozen exhibitions. Her blog is at

Statement: Since 2003, my process has moved from producing semi-abstract and surreal paintings to video and mixed-media work that explores social commentary, mainly dealing with issues facing women. Continuously experimenting with media, I am focused on investigating the complex undertones of the female psyche and its relationship to its subjective environment of gender censorship. I am exposing thoughts and attitudes that women are encouraged or forced to hide.

The poetry and screenplays that I write and the subjects that I film are inspired by a innate need to be brutally honest about such exposure. Whatever the medium--charcoal, acrylic, video, or collage--my work is always questioning. Issues of gender are part of a wider construct that subordinates or stigmatises various "positionings" in society, and I hope to spark a discourse that interrogates the foundations of these biases.

Unease: An 8-Step Programme: This project examines the idea of the uncomfortable. It defines states of uneasiness and uncertainty as integral to creativity, self-awareness, and critical thinking, and interrogates societal and individual dependency on fixed answers, ideas of enlightenment, fixed truths, and the need for security. I believe that most acts of violence and confident shows of prejudice and hate are born out of a political or social position that is stagnant, too fixed, and deceptively comfortable.

This video will investigate a "Grey Area" through a satirical eight-step programme. The eight steps to normalcy--or eight steps to being a natural or ideal woman--will reveal and question the psychological after-effects women face when trying to fit themselves into a life or a role they do not desire. The motif of a measuring tape recurs throughout the video, deconstructing the act of measuring, defining, and labelling women and their roles in society. The eight steps will be ironic, with an underlying tone that presents an in-your-face, uncomfortable platform from which to discuss these ideas, instigating a re-thinking of former myths and accepted "truths" about what being a woman represents.

Although women's rights, gender studies, and feminist activism suggest that these issues are quite visible, female angst is still stigmatised as "bitterness", rather than seen as an expression of circumstance, and a call to alleviate inequity. Unease gives glimpses into the problematic side of the female gender structure, such as eating disorders, notions of chastity, the demonisation of women's sexuality as a system of control, and some women's humble acceptance of these unjust boundaries.

Unease: An 8-Step Programme will be screened at Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, on Friday 15 September, 2006, from 5 to 8 pm; Saturday 16 September, from 11 am to 6 pm; Friday 22 September, from 4 to 8 pm; and Saturday 23 September, from 11 am to 6 pm.

jaime photo shoot

Jaime Lee Loy photographing Sabrina Charran for the multimedia installation Unease: An 8-Step Programme

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Visibly Absent: A Walk in the Park, by Gerard Gaskin

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. This is the second in a series of notes on each artist and his or her project.

gerard gaskin walk in the park 5

Untitled (2001), from the portrait series A Walk in the Park, by Gerard Gaskin

Bio: Gerard H. Gaskin was born in Trinidad and Tobago and currently lives in New York, where he works as a freelance photographer. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Newsday, Black Enterprise, King, Teen People, Caribbean Beat, and DownBeat Magazine. His clients also include record companies like Island, Sony, Def Jam, and Mercury Records. Gaskin's photographs have been shown in solo and group exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Queens Museum of Arts, the Black Magic Woman Festival in Amsterdam, and Imagenes Havana in Cuba. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of the City of New York, the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery, and the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture. For more information, see

Statement: The main objective of Galvanize is to have a full conversation about art with the people of the Caribbean. My conversation is about sexuality: what do we do with it, and are we going to have a real, true dialogue with it? My hope is that the people who look at my photos will have that conversation with my work. I would also like for the gay population of Trinidad to see gay men and women somewhere else in the world looking back at them with pride and dignity.

A Walk in the Park: These photographs are portraits from my ongoing project about the Balls in New York City. The Balls are a celebration of black and Latino urban gay life. They were born in Harlem in the 1950s out of a need for black and Latino gays to have a safe space to express themselves. Balls are constructed like beauty and talent pageants. The participants work to redefine and critique gender and sexual identity through an extravagant fashion masquerade. Women and men become fluid, interchangeable points of departure and reference, disrupting the notion of a fixed and rigid gender and sexual make-up. My images try to show a more personal and intimate beauty, pride, dignity, courage and grace that has been painfully challenged by mainstream society. All of this happens at night in small halls around New York City.

A Walk in the Park will run from 15 to 27 September, 2006, at the Tattoo Farm, Long Circular Road, Maraval.

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Visibly Absent: The Black Eye Project, by Nikolai Noel

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. This is the first in a series of notes on each artist and his or her project.

nikolai noel work in progress

From Nikolai Noel's Black Eye Project--work in progress

Bio: Nikolai Noel was born in 1976 in Trinidad, and grew up in the east Port of Spain district of Belmont. He attended the John Donaldson Technical Institute then entered the world of commercial video production as an animator. He began to exhibit in 2000, and has shown work every year since, participating in a number of group shows and one solo show in 2002.

Statement: The purpose of my work is to question the way we structure our civilisation. Why are the institutions that govern the world we know, the institutions that govern the world we know? Could we have evolved an alternative, more equitable form of organising ourselves? Is it too late to do it? Do we have the will or desire for that kind of thing? I am interested in the millions of years of occurrences that brought us to this point.

My work owes a lot to my Christian upbringing, forming in me the desire to tell stories and make my point in parable form, as Christ did. I may at times invent entire mythologies as analogies for social situations, or manipulate existing symbols and narratives to suggest new meanings in an attempt to expose or subvert accepted, established social institutions.

The Black Eye Project: This project attempts to draw attention to issues of security and liberty. It also addresses economic and political issues. Large stenciled images of "The Blimp" will be spray-painted onto sheets of industrial clear plastic and layered so as to tell a moving story of concerns and implications. Each image will be different, and mounted so that the viewer can either view the layered image as a whole or move between the images to see them as individuals. The images themselves will be black and graphic.

There is also a public element. A small stencil will be used to "tag" areas where one may be surveilled in public. Though "The Blimp" has not been in operation for a while, the image and implications of it are still present in the public consciousness. The project seeks to engage the public in an as-of-now understated debate on issues of crime and privacy and trust, as we await the inevitable return of "The Blimp" to our night skies.

The Black Eye Project will run from 13 to 26 October, 2006, at various outdoor locations in and around Port of Spain, and in the Back Studio at CCA7.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Galvanize 2006: updated schedule of events

Galvanize is a six-week contemporary arts programme running from 14 September to 26 October, 2006. It is divided into three phases of one fortnight each.


Launch Party
14 September, 2006, 7.00 pm
Venue: CCA7

Visibly Absent: Artists' Interventions
15 to 27 September, 2006

= Gerard Gaskin: A Walk in the Park
photography installation
Venue: Tattoo Farm, Long Circular Road, Maraval
Times: The Tattoo Farm is open Monday to Friday, 11 am to 8 pm

= Jaime LeeLoy: Unease: An 8-Step Programme
multi-media installation
Venue: Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook
Times: Friday 15 September, 5 to 8 pm
Saturday 16 September, 11 am to 6 pm
Friday 22 September, 4 to 8 pm
Saturday 23 September, 11 am to 6 pm

= Sabrina Charran: Banana Monologues
intervention in public spaces--posters, cards, etc.
Venues: outdoor public locations around Port of Spain

Open Screenings: New video work by artists in and of the Caribbean
15 September to 26 October, 2006
Venue: The Art Room, CCA7

Conversation: The Visual Arts Environment, 20 Years After
discussion of the pioneering 1980s artists-led initiative
21 September, 2006, 6.30 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7
Participants: Courtney Martin, Steve Ouditt, Edward Bowen, Mario Lewis


Visibly Absent: Artists' Interventions
29 September to 11 October, 2006
Launch event: 28 September, 2006, 8.00 pm, CCA7

= Akuzuru: Atonement for Our Transgressions
site-specific installation
Venue: Queen's Park Savannah, opposite the Botanic Gardens

= Parker Nicholas: Light, Lyrics & Boxes
Venue: Mode Alive, Frederick Street, downtown

= Tessa Alexander: Progressive Blindness
video installation
Venue: Eddie Bowen's Studio, 25 Sydenham Avenue, St Ann’s

Conversation: News That Stays News: Newsprint Literature
readings and discussion of the newspaper column as a literary medium
Thursday 28 September, 2006, 6.30 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7
Participants: B.C. Pires, Attillah Springer, Lisa Allen-Agostini, Nicholas Laughlin

Sound and Lyrics: Sheldon Holder and 12
performance and conversation with Christopher Cozier
Saturday 30 September, 2006, 6.00 pm
Venue: Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook

Conversation: What Is Worth Talking About: Points for Reference in our Changing Urban Landscape
multimedia installation addressing architecture, design, and urbanism
Thursday 5 October to Wednesday 18 October, 2006
Venues: 3 Gray Street, St Clair; and Form & Function, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook
Launch event: Thursday 5 October, 2006, 7.30 pm
3 Gray Street, St Clair
Participants: Sean Leonard, Steve Ouditt, Asad Mohammed, Colin Laird, Darren Brathwaite

Performance: Fresh Water, by Makeda Thomas
dance project, with light installation by Elspeth Duncan
Saturday 7 October, 2006, 7 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7
Dancers: Makeda Thomas, Shani Collins, Khaleah London, Sonja Dumas


Visibly Absent: Artists' Interventions
13 to 26 October, 2006
Launch event: 12 October, 2006, 8.00 pm, CCA7

= Marlon Griffith: Doppelganger
video installation
Venue: Mangoes Restaurant, Independence Square

= Alex Smailes: Back in Times
photo installation
Venue: SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road; back corridor, CCA7
Opens on Saturday 7 October at SWWTU at an actual "Back in Times" party; free admission between 7.30 and 9 pm
From Friday 13 October, installed in the back corridor at CCA7

= Nikolai Noel: The Black Eye Project
wall drawings in public spaces and drawing installation
Venues: outdoor locations around Port of Spain; the Art Room, CCA7

Sound and Lyrics: Gary Hector and jointpop
performance and conversation with Jonathan Ali
Saturday 14 October, 2006, 8.00 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7

Performance: Meta-Osmotica, by Akuzuru
performance work
Tuesday 17 October, 2006, 6:30pm
Venue: Form & Function, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook

Retrospective: Design works by Illya Furlonge-Walker
Tuesday 17 October, 2006, 7:00pm
Venue: Form & Function, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook

Conversation: Monsters and Other Animals: Poems and Fictions
readings and discussion
Thursday 19 October, 2006, 6.30 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7
Participants: James Christopher Aboud, Anu Lakhan, Nicholas Laughlin

Conversation: What Next?: Galvanize Post-Mortem
Thursday 2 November, 2006, 6.30 pm
Venue: InterAmericas Space, CCA7
Participants: Mario Lewis, Christopher Cozier, Steve Ouditt, Peter Doig, Nicholas Laughlin, Charlotte Elias

Ongoing: each Galvanize event or project will be documented online at

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