April 2nd, 2019
Artist Talk – ‘Asue: 20/20’
On Saturday, January 21st, Popop-based artist Jeffrey Meris along with his collaborators gathered in the Project Space Room of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas to speak about the development of ‘Asue:20/20’ and the first round of prompts supporting the project which are, Grace and Medium.
Are you tired of Jeffrey Meris always making things that are extremely complicated and abstract? Do you suffer from the ‘this does not look like art syndrome’? Do your eyes long for a drawing of your grandma that some kid in the 6th grade can Picasso? Have you had enough of Meris parading his political propaganda as art? Then here’s your once in a lifetime opportunity to do something about it (or maybe just see more political art), come to the NAGB January 21 at 4PM. ~ quote by Jeffrey Meris
As a component of the National Exhibition 8 (NE8), the PS Room will house three special projects starting with Jeffrey Meris’ “Asue: 20/20”.
“Asue: 20/20” is a series of participatory objects, experiences and interventions drawn from the Yorubic tradition. Meris invited 19 people throughout New Providence to interchange objects in response to a prompt or an object he creates.
Much like an economic asue, each week one person receives all twenty objects created/exchanged until the cycle is completed and all twenty participants have received an item. This cultural practice of communal saving is quickly dissipating from The Bahamas and the Caribbean Diaspora.
Meris examines the cultural institution while simultaneously building bridges that technology is distancing. The work is also positioned in relation to blackness, as the practice of asue was a form of cultural resistance (re)formed in response to slavery and the aftermath, which prohibited blacks from saving money in banks.