Saturday, July 28, 2007

Closed Studio - Zak Ove / Nicole Awai

The final coffin nail - No fanfare at CCA7's last show

It is official, the closure of Caribbean Contemporary Arts at # 7 building at Fernandes Industrial Centre, Trinidad and Tobago. The director of the Art organization, Charlotte Elias has thrown in her gloves as of August, 2007.

This is an uneasy farewell for the current artists in residence, and for the tenants who are caught in the loop and that of moving out, yet in the transition, two artist have hosted a casual open house.

Trinidad and Tobago has a rich history of traditional carnival characters and in many ways, resident artists have exploited the art of it. And representing these carnival figures tend to have more importance once they are executed by a outsider. If not a painting of a blue devil, steelbands or palm tree under a moonlit backdrop, what can be expected from these paintings reproduced from photographs? Fancy sailors of cause, but Mr. Ove has technically rendered these characters. A slideshow of his photographs showed a panoramic landscape of composed fancy sailors fading in and out from a computer screen.

During his two month residency, British film maker Zak Ove worked on local television commercials as part of his disciplinary skill. His open studio showed only his sculptures, collages and paintings and a scheduled presentation of this film work was planned for the following day. One usual piece is a painting of a Corbeaux on galvanized guttering.

Sex in Art is a subject which Trinidadian hold with contentment or amusement if it is visually displayed. There are generally snickers from the public if the subject shows any form of genital. This painting, for example shows none, but there is more hidden truth underneath the technical illustration of two female figures joint at the hip. Joint by the hip has the meaning of been seen together, or never apart. it can also mean sisterhood or the mirror of oneself.

Art it seems exposes the truth of the creator as with the work of Nicole Awai. She says the concept comes from a doll called the topsy turvy doll in all its symbolism and politics of class in America held either way. Yet unaware to the artist's intentions, it can be interpreted as a interplay of homoerotic pleasure ( be it or not). -thebookmann

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