Saturday, September 23, 2006

Zen & Che

Walking within the footsteps of glamour and social divide

Zen is a discothèque with a splash of panache. The staff that greets you at the entrance are polite yet firm. For guests who are on the list, a band is attached to your wrist. This indicates that you are VIP, for others, there is a long queue and security check to enter the Club. But at the rooftop and in a small quarter that once operated the projection booth of the Deluxe theatre, the Amateurs; the deejay duo of Raven & Che entertain the crowd with a style of music, much louder and more appropriate than the gig at More Vino.

At Zen there are three floors. Can this mean that there are three classes? It certainly seems so at first. At the top, the luminary hoi polloi are in their element, looking down at the plebs as they amble in. There is also an open patio for guest to mingle and pose. Zen has also acquisitioned a painting by Mr. Lovelace. The piece is mounted and encased in one of the walls outside the court, and appears to be a beach scene with a couple standing in the foreground, while four other figures are further out to where the waves break.

The second level of Zen is a small den, and you can walk unto a balcony that overlooks the techno strobe lights that deflect off the patrons below. For most, this is a rite of passage, and the purpose here is to make your presence felt in the Club. The objective is to show in your dress, a certain sophistication and attitude. It is also important to have your cadre of friends who are also dazzling in their own right.....But not so dazzling to over shadow you.
In Trinidad and Tobago we have known of clubs segregating people for years! On the ground floor there are girls in pompom shorts, but up in the rarefied space of the penthouse, the young, successful and beautiful wear inspired casuals for the evening with the same shallow conversations and the same small groups pretending not to notice you as you pretend not to notice them. The splash of names beside no-name people who are just too cool for school. There is also a photographer / paparazzi to capture people as if Paris Hilton could arrive at any moment.

As clubs go, Zen is the new flavour and as the popularity of Clubbing wears out. Yet for a brief moment you can be with "the in thing" until another Club opens up Zen comes up to its image and when the scene changes, it shall still be an elegantly appointed contemporary space like those you see in Manhattan or Vegas. Zen certainly knows this and in time it would adapt to suit.

Top image: An art figurine of Buddha in the penthouse space, Centre: Che Lovelace at the controls of his deejay console. Bottom: Dressing with a certain sophistication, Zen Dance Club, Trinidad and Tobago.

1 comment:

Dylan said...

ummm, your eye for the aesthetic flavour of things is excellent, i have learned much from reading your posts on various things. This one on the zen, while apt and correct, also strikes me as missing the point. For me the place is about making money - your three classes/three floor alluding to that - however that is a local manifestation of a global phenomenon; a phenomenon some might call capitalism, others may describe as neoliberalism or petro-imperialism. My point being that how can you connect your valuable local aesthetic description to global flows of people, capital, images, media, discourse etc? To place what you say on a global canvas would makes your observations more presentable as calls to action. Ie people learn how the things they dont think about - dressing to look good, nepotism, class hierachies, the privitisation of carnival - as being connected to Euro-American capitalism and saying very little about Trinidadian creativity. dont know if i made sense there but hey...


Views expressed on thebookmann are not affiliated with any Art Organizations and an “Art Review” may be open to interpretation as it is an observation at face value.

Amendments to such articles if misleading or with grammatical errors shall be corrected accordingly.

All photographs, Feinin studies, accompanying quotes, articles and visual headers appearing on site are the exclusive property of Richard Bolai © 2004 - 2010 All Rights Reserved.

Any fare use is restricted without written permission