ARC Magazine announces the release of its fourth volume, which presents a collection of works by contemporary artists practicing in the Caribbean and its diaspora. Featured artists from Bermuda, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana represent a variety of media, including photography, illustration, film, drawing, painting, poetry, performance, installation and mixed media. Holly Bynoe writes:
ARC frames its content in sections: 24FPS presents an in-depth look of established and experimental filmmakers; THE GRADIENT offers a dissection of a larger body of specified work; ARTIST ON ARTIST reminisces and heralds the significance of influence and conversation; SPOTLIGHT highlights emerging artists’ works; and COLLECTIONS showcases the portfolios of three artists. We introduce a defined cultural department which vacillates between traditional and more expedient views on the place of Caribbean art, as we continue to probe and characterize its aesthetic container.
Issue IV brings together the work of Dominican artist Firelei Baez whose drawings/paintings, Can I Pass? Introducing the paper bag to the fan test, embody the tensions generated between the willful abstraction of beauty and its entanglement with race and color consciousness. Writer and artist Jorge Alberto Perez takes us through Baez’s daily creation as she struggles to subvert social and cultural structures through systematic documentation. Bermudian conceptual artist James Coopers’ anesthetized photographs challenge us to engage with temporality in relation to our interaction with a very logical world. His practice is centered on an illogical and oftentimes indefinable response to a time and acceleration that has stolen the magic out of life. British scholar and academic, Leon Wainwright, questions the Caribbean artists’ position in an increasing globalized market and suggests our place surrounding imminent inclusion and/or exclusion. His argument revolves around Alicia Alleyne and Carl Anderson’s practice, bringing light to a new frontier of social and online marketing, while warning about hegemonic paradigms that have controlled the marketplace, exposure and real opportunity.
Featured artist, Vincentian-born Caroline ‘booops’ Sardine, presents paintings, assemblages and mixed media works that distil and embody a personal journey of transformation, trauma and healing. Booops’ intensely individual style draws and references magical realism and folklore. Her amalgamated Caribbean creole-ness shines through her use of language and iconography. Oneika Russell engages in discourse with Trinidadian artist Wendell McShine to get a grasp of the depths of his intuitive and highly prolific practice. He speaks about conjuring, magic and bringing art to the people, taking us on a journey where he navigates a new sense of place in the terrain of Mexico. Jonathan Ali writes about the award-winning film ‘Jean Gentil’, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival’s Best Narrative Feature Film of 2011. Directors Guzman and Cárdenas capture the journey of a solitude Haitian man on his new course into the Dominican landscape. Ali’s linear acceptance of the quiet filmic aptitude propels the casual visuals that reveal the meditative and the deliberate.
This collection explores a range of experiential moments constructed within very determined scenarios. Personal, political and gendered issues are examined and reveal patterns that attempt to define the expanding boundaries of the Caribbean from a critical and intimate perspective. In this issue we are attempting to visually embody a region and its circulating diaspora by bringing together its complexities to become conscious of its embodied whole; bringing our islands, minds and beings together and truly binding us at the core.
[Cover art: Caroline “booops” Sardine’s “Ah Yaaard.”]