Our Story, By Us
< Current local time in Suriname – Paramaribo
PARAMARIBO–Early in 2011 Readytex Art Gallery issued a press release regarding the ‘About Change Art Program’, of the World Bank in partnership with the Inter‐American Development Bank, the OAS, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, which consisted of a series of exhibitions focusing on contemporary art from Latin America and the Caribbean. The exhibitions were held during 2011 and 2012 at various locations in Washington D.C. such as the World Bank, the Art Museum of the Americas and the galleries of Inter‐American Development Bank.
Artworks by Surinamese artists Marcel Pinas, Sri Irodikromo, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj and Patricia Kaersenhout who lives in the Netherlands, was First exhibited in “Wrestling with the image: Caribbean interventions”, an exhibition in which only art from the Caribbean was showcased. The exhibition opened on January 21 2011 in the Art Museum of the Americas of the OAS in Washington DC, and a digital catalogue of the exhibition is available here: http://smallaxe.net/wordpress3/works/2011/02/08/wrestling-with-the-image-ecatalog/
The second exhibition in which aside from the previously mentioned artists work by George Struikelblok, Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, Jhunry Udenhout and Hanka Wolterstorff were also shown, took place in the World Bank itself, from May 18th until July 31st of 2011. Recently, in February of 2012 the catalogue of the entire ‘About Change’ Art Program was published. Although we have not yet seen the printed version, the digital version of the catalogue is already available online. The catalogue counts 177 pages and contains essays by several writers and the biographies as well as photographs of exhibited works of the participating artists. In it the organizers and curators discuss the motivation and the content of the subsequent exhibitions.
Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean remarks in her essay on how contemporary artists from the region portray in different forms the ongoing economic and social change.
Marina Galvani, art curator of the World Bank Art program writes in her essay: “In addition to profound national and local differences, these artworks also comment on the gap between reality and the stereotypes that the “outside” world often projects on Latin America and the Caribbean. About Change is an opportunity for an international audience to reflect upon this region in more current terms and for the artists to challenge an often-stultified image of their own countries. “
In his essay, Christopher Cozier, the Trinidadian artist and co curator of ‘Wrestling with the Image’ talks about the complexities involved in defining the Caribbean region and Caribbean art and also how largely because of the internet all boundaries and limitations are gradually disappearing for artists from the region. He writes: “The Caribbean is a site of investigation for its artists. It is a constantly expanding space shaped by
wherever they may travel, reside, or imagine. It is articulated by individual acts of visual inquiry seeking to transgress the usual and traditional cultural, political, or geographic parameters..”.
It is too bad that there are a few sloppy mistakes, inconsistencies and omissions in the presentation of our Surinamese artists in the catalogue, but all in all it is a good-looking publication that adequately portrays the striking variety and quality of art from the region in focus. For those who are interested in viewing the digital publication, it is available for download at: http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/AboutChangeCatalogLR.pdf
Readytex press release