The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) recently announced a new opening date for the Kingston Biennial: Pressure curated by David Scott, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Wayne Modest, and O’Neil Lawrence. The Kingston Biennial will open on June 26, 2022, and will run through December 31, 2022.
As it has with art institutions around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the NGJ’s exhibition programming. It has made it impossible to meet previously set timelines – both for the NGJ as well as several of the participating artists in the Kingston Biennial. While the preparations for the exhibition are ongoing, the recently confirmed presence of the Delta and Mu variants of the COVID-19 virus in Jamaica also factored into the decision to change the opening date from the original December 12, 2021.
Jonathan Greenland, Senior Director of the NGJ, in a statement. “With the evolving uncertainties of the pandemic, the decision was made to change dates for the exhibition in order to prioritize the safety of our staff, the artistic community and our public. The Kingston Biennial: Pressure is however our newest flagship exhibition; we remain committed to this exhibition for its potential to be a catalyst for the further exposure and development of Jamaican art both here and in the Jamaican diaspora.”
David Scott, the exhibition’s lead curator on the exhibition’s theme “[W]hat is instructive about the Jamaican experience and the idiom of pressure is that it has always had a generative and dissenting quality about it. Pressure is a source of critical and creative counter-powers and creative oppositional activity. It is an inspiring human resource, and historically it has been deeply fertile ground for some of the most brilliant works of Jamaican cultural achievement.”
Leading up to the opening of the Kingston Biennial: Pressure there will be several interactive online seminars including: The Cultural History of Art Institutions in Jamaica and the Sonic and Visual Lives of Pressure among others.
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