Art Exhibition in Norway to honour Jamaican-born cultural theorist
It was Jamaican-born cultural theorist Stuart Hall who suggested that one should think of culture in terms of routes and not necessarily as a return to roots. He encouraged people to fully embrace an expansive notion of culture which includes the routes by which people travel and how culture travels, moves, develops, changes and migrates.
So, come January 30, Hall will be remembered for his ideologies with an art exhibition in Norway. From January 30 - March 2, 2016, 11 exceptional Jamaican talents have been invited to showcase their work at Galleri F15 in Norway. The exhibition titled Jamaican Routes, not only pays homage to Hall, but also serves to emphasise that although rooted in Jamaica, the exhibition extends well beyond the island's shores. The 11 participating artists featured in the exhibition are young artists whose careers are on the rise internationally, but are fairly well known in Jamaica and the Caribbean. They are: Camille Chedda, Andrea Chung, Marlon James, Leasho Johnson, Matthew McCarthy, Olivia McGilchrist, Oneika Russell, Ebony G. Patterson, Storm Saulter, Cosmo Whyte and Andre Woolery.
The works in the exhibition address a wide range of topics, including the social, cultural and political implications of Jamaican music, as well as themes that relate to Jamaican cultural and identity issues in more general terms. Although not a strictly thematic exhibition, the intricacies of Jamaican music, and dancehall in particular, provide a powerful undertone for many of the works featured in Jamaican Routes. The works have been carefully selected to provide a meaningful and nuanced impression of Jamaican contemporary art through video, film, photography, painting, works on paper and installations.
BETTER MUS' COME SCREENING
There will be a special screening of Storm Saulter's film, Better Mus' Come, at the Nordic Black Theatre, the day before the exhibition opens (January 29). The exhibition catalogue is designed by Richard Mark Rawlins, a Trinidadian artist and designer based in Port of Spain (with strong ties to Jamaica and a deep understanding of Jamaican culture).
In addition to a curatorial essay by Selene Wendt, contributions to the catalogue include essays by the prominent writers Annie Paul, and Nicole Smythe-Johnson. Annie Paul is a writer and art critic based in Kingston, who also writes extensively about Jamaican music. Her blog, Active Voice, features witty commentary on current events in Jamaica, the Caribbean, India and the world. Nicole Smythe-Johnson is an independent curator and writer based in Kingston.