Christina Leslie's Portraits

N.L.S., A New Local Space

Deborah Caroll Anzinger's artist run residency and exhibition space in Kingston


Leasho Johnson's Provocative Re-interpretation in 'Canopy Guild'

Light Sensitive

Marlon James' black and whites

Annalee Davis: ON THE MAP

Caribbean Political Documentary

Friday, January 26, 2007

Travelling Exhibitions and National Art:

At present there seems to be a shortage of travelling exhibitions in Jamaica. For reasons perhaps such as budget restrictions and shortage of the kind of space required before being allowed to host one of these exhibitions. This does something however: it keeps the gallery circuit and the art community closed. The National Gallery with its Biennial and Curator's Eye seeks to invite international curator's and artists to exhibit alongside local artists but the context seems to be innately about Jamaica and its cultural output, from the diaspora or not. Somehow leading to a kind of nationalism in art. It is true that this is one of the main roles of national art museums and galleries but what of privately run galleries?

On the other hand, if you think about the UK and its Young British Artists promotional strategies, the U.S. and its National Endowment for the Arts and Canada and its National Film Board, it seems that the national voice in art is a common policy or strategy. How does this sit with the idea of crossing boundaries and merging of cultures that is popular with theorists today. How can the Jamaican art community find a middle ground or is it a matter of government policy?

There is also the issue that I am even referring to art produced by persons culturally, geographically or historically associated with Jamaica as 'Jamaican' art. Is that valid to even search for the 'Jamaican' element in the equation?