On January 28, ARC Magazine celebrated its 2nd anniversary—congratulations from Repeating Islands! To mark the occasion, Stephanie Leitch, in collaboration with Candace Moses, put together a special feature on the co-creators of ARC, Nadia Huggins and Holly Bynoe, with an interview in which the founders speak of their trajectory with the art magazine. Leitch writes: “Artists from all over the Caribbean region and diaspora have gained not only the exposure but the Recognition they deserve from this pioneering arts publication that has truly invested and changed the landscape of the visual Culture of the Caribbean.” See excerpts of the interview with a link to the full article below:
SL: Does it feel like 2 years has passed since ARC was first launched in 2011?
Holly Bynoe: Well ARC is the product of 10 years of collaboration in various capacities but at that time we didn’t really have the network or the yearning. It wasn’t until 2010 that we understood the network we existed in and how to open up the communication lines to support something of this nature.
Nadia Huggins: Yes, ARC has been in the making for a really long time. [. . .]
SL: ARC does not limit the publication to the English speaking Caribbean and has featured the work of artists throughout the archipelago. What motivated you to take on such a large task?
HB: When you think deeply about the Caribbean you have to think about all its countries. Though there have been linguistic barriers due to the make up of the ARC we are trying to achieve a balance. You have to be careful with the aesthetic that each territory carries because they are gesturally different and dynamic within their own legibility- visual and otherwise. Looking only at Cuba, we could easily obtain content for the next 20 years, due to their cultural production and the way in which they have been educated to appreciate and value art, so to focus only on the Anglophone Caribbean is to cut off our own feet and sabotage the growth of the publication . The French government through the Alliance Francaise in St. Lucia and the DAC, Martinique for example have been very supportive of ARC and we would like to remain open to any other funding resources and exhibition projects available to us so we can ensure that ARC is around and relevant for a very long time.
NH: Our experiences with ARC have also given us new ways to see the Caribbean. When you think of Caribbean islands you generally think about the ocean and coconut trees but visiting Suriname in the South American continent was overwhelming. There was something about it that I connected with culturally and the expansiveness of the land affected me so much artistically. [. . .]
SL: What is on the horizon for ARC?
HB & NH: We are looking forward to developing stronger working relationships with various partners in 2013. Our involvement with the ttff for New Media is a huge component of how I see us extending visual and critical vocabularies throughout our space. We would like to see something like this develop throughout most of the OECS islands and the SIDS as programming engendering community, [collaboration] and dialogue. [. . .] Late last year we started producing a series of informal artist videos that are set to come to life when we move into Phase 2 of ARC’s online and social development. We have filmed 25 artists and it is our goal through partnerships to take this project to various islands and have multiple [artists] participate in it.
We head to the Bahamas in March for Transforming Spaces 2013, and will be starting off our year in production there. On the horizon, we have the launch of Issue 7 in May and we hope to produce events in Jamaica, and in Grenada with Caribbean Studies Association for their annual conference. Of course later in the year we head back to Trinidad for the [festival], but during the year we both have various creative projects that we are hoping to implement and bring to life through exhibitions, talks, social projects, screenings etc. ARC’s future isn’t as we had imagined, it is far more [luminous] than we could have envisioned.
For full interview, see http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2013/01/turning-2-a-labour-of-love/