Saturday, February 10, 2007

Strasser collides with Cindy Sherman

Wilfred Strasser played the part a tableau vivant, as a penny float

The Calypso collector Ray funk is back in Trinidad and Tobago, and this time he is presenting a film of the earliest moving colour pictures of Trinidad Carnival on local television. Mr. Funk says that these films were made between 1956 and 1958 and he is appealing to the public if anyone remembers the carnival bands in order to document aspects of the recorded footage.

The film shows how civil people played their mas as they crossed the Grand Stand dressed as an armored Roman soldiers, black and white bats, red devils, stomping American Indians or African tribal warrior. Also there is a glimpse of the most memorable masquerader,
Wilfred Strasser in one of his floats, Romeo and Juliet.

Wilfred Strasser and Cindy Sherman alike

Wilfred Strasser played the part a tableau vivant and his penny float showed his remarkable craftsmanship, creativity and skill. His work has a similarity to the photographs by the American artist Cindy Sherman. But he is actually playing himself in public a bit grander as Simon Boilvar, Shiva or a Hibiscus flower. What was astonishing about this masquerader was his ability conceal himself in his costume and to have the stamina to keep in pose for hours on end.

Mr. Funk is an American judge whose second home is Trinidad and Tobago. At Carnival he portrays himself as a Midnight Robber, Raven of the North. with a prepared speech and all.

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