The Liverpool Biennial is the largest contemporary visual arts events in the UK. It is also one of the best attended in the world. For ten weeks every two years, the city of Liverpool is transformed into the most amazing living gallery of new art, showcasing the best contemporary artists from around the world. This year’s Biennial showcases six programs, one of which is called “City States,” a collection of shows exploring the cultural dynamics between cities and states. “City States” consists of six international Pavilions and a selection of artists from The Bahamas, Barbados, and Martinique were the focus of the Caribbean Pavilion in an exhibition called Three Moments.
In this exhibition, three moments become symbolized by three Caribbean islands; The Bahamas, Martinique and Barbados – ten artists selected on their ability to make work that responds to contemporary and historical global themes. The artists representing The Bahamas are John Beadle, Blue Curry, Lavar Munroe, Lynn Parotti and Heino Schmid.For the first time artists from The Bahamas are collectively making new work that responds to the city of Liverpool while maintaining a distinctive stance on a 21st Century Caribbean modernist aesthetic.
Three Moments is selected and curated by Dominique Brebion (Martinique), Alissandra Cummins (Barbados), David A. Bailey (London, Acting Director National Art Gallery of The Bahamas), Holly Parotti (The Bahamas) and Allison Thompson (Barbados) in collaboration with the ICF (International Curators’ Forum). The installation is inspired by Stuart Hall’s essay “Modernity and Its Others: Three ‘Moments’ In The Post-war History of the Black Diaspora Arts”:
“How are we to write the histories of non-western societies in relation to modernity? Modernity is, as we know, an extremely slippery signifier, and appears here with as many quote marks as I can muster: and ‘the modern’ in its many derivatives – early modern, late modern, post-modern, modernity, modernism – has long been effectively appropriated to the story of the west, monopolizing for western civilization the privilege of living to the full the potentialities of the present ‘from the inside’. It is therefore difficult to imagine this story in any way other than as a binary polarity: modernity and its ‘others’. Only two narrative alternatives then seem possible. Either the story is told from within the perspective of modernity itself: in which case it is difficult to prevent it becoming a triumphalist narrative in which the ‘others’ are permanently marginalized. Or one reorients the story within its margins, seeking by this move to reverse and disrupt the normalised order of things by bringing into visibility all that cannot be seen from, or is structurally obscured by, the usual vantage point.”
For more on the biennial go to http://www.biennial.com/