Introduction to Transforming Spaces 2014
Holly Bynoe, Caribbean artist, writer, curator and founder of ARC Magazine, expounds on this year’s Transforming Spaces 2014.
One of the more exciting components of this year’s Transforming Spaces is the fact that a lot of the work will be done in situ on the spot, engaging with the limitations of the creative space while tapping into new connections through collaboration, experimentation and play. We are bringing together groups of artists who have always wanted to connect, but have never had the opportunity to until now. This in itself is momentous to the core of the local initiative’s mission of making new works possible.
I think it is a dynamic component of this project and can bolster the profile of Transforming Spaces in the wider Caribbean because we are now taking risks, looking at new ways of expanding the curatorial frameworks for the tour while considering its implication in the local arena. This can become a significant benchmark to understand the way that we are working throughout the visual industries in the Caribbean, assessing old boundaries of nationalism versus a new wave of regionalism that is now emerging and, in essence, determining the way we have come to know creative production.
One of the more important factors of this year’s project is the confluence and complexities that the selected artists have performed and produced in their works. We have elements of nostalgia butting up against high conceptual pieces that allow the viewer to consider how they are positioned within this conversation; if they want to be a part of it or not.
Drawing on the theme, many artists have reflected on how ‘Water’ has shaped their consciousness and how it has influenced the root of practices by its sheer function as a reflective and symbolic entity. For me, it was important to think about the monumentality of Water.
A lot of the work is political and addressing the way that the Caribbean has been molded by colonialism, capitalism and its spoils. Some of the work, while serious in its language, also speaks to personal experiences attached to belonging, loss and the dynamics of how our identities have been impacted by water’s energy and flux. Some artists have abstracted it, taken it out of its form and given a new frame to consider its presence in daily life, be it in sweat, blood or breath.
It is my hope that the dialogues not only between the works on the walls but also between the artists and the general public will give a greater sense to how these cultural workers are manifesting presence within their local, regional, political and personal spaces. Having this freedom and allowing room for this platform is paramount.
By Holly Bynoe