Thursday, November 25, 2010


The above clip is a short film made by Rodell Warner. The film was first admitted to the Animae Caribe Festival and then withdrawn. The following is a letter from Warner to Camille Selvon Abrahams, Creative Director Animae Caribe Animation Festival. Courtesy of the Artist Rodell Warner.


Forget it. I'd like to withdraw from the festival. Please don't show my film.

You're ridiculous. The more I think about the kind of place I want to live in versus what you are thinking makes the place I do live in, the more i realise i cant put up wit fuckery like this.

There's no film festival anywhere in the world that accepts someone's work, then calls to apologise that they can't show it or ask them to change the music based on how 'jarring' it is or ANYTHING of that nature.

That's ass fuckin backwards.

Its 'lets pretend we have a film festival'.

Its 'lets show nice things that everyone agrees with'.

Who decided this should be in your show in the first place if you find it too 'jarring' for your 'aged 4-65 audience' and your 'people on the level of academy award winners' anyway??

Forget it.

I guess you can't show a 'jarring' film at animae caribe, even if the point of your film for it to be jarring.

No wonder the fucking thing produces such shining stars every year.

Fuckin joke.

Do Better,

-Rodell Warner

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

COCO DANCE FESTIVAL NOV. 26th to 28th 2010

Choreographers’ Collective - nicknamed COCO - is a group of independent choreographers - Dave Williams, Nicole Wesley, Nancy Herrera and Sonja Dumas – which offers performance support for choreographers working in unconventional ways in Trinidad and Tobago. COCO will host its second annual dance festival from Friday, November 26th to Sunday, November 28th – this time in a series of unusual spaces.

The 2010 COCO Season, called the Moving Movement Museum, is a series of dances presented in two backyards of Woodbrook which already have a tradition of performance – Alice Yard, at 80 Roberts Street, and, two blocks away, Bohemia at 33 Murray Street. The first half will be at Alice Yard, and the second half will be at Bohemia. Patrons will be treated to a gallery of live performances created by an A-list line-up of both established and emerging choreographers: Dave Williams, Nicole Wesley, Rachel Lee, Gregor Breedy, Akuzuru, Anika Marcelle and Sonja Dumas, as well as choreography students from dance programmes of the University of Trinidad and Tobago and University of the West Indies. “Even the intermission is exciting,” said COCO co-director, Sonja Dumas. “Movement will lead you from one space to the other.”

Showtimes: Friday, November 26th and Saturday, November 27th – 8:00pm; Sunday, November 28th – 7:00pm. Tickets available from the choreographers+performers and from the organizers. Kindly call 622-4426 to make reservations. Security will be provided.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the Global Africa Project Notes and a craft project from MAD

1 of 3
  • Peera, assembled!

Article courtesy:

Things We Love Posted by Liz Gwinn November 18, 2010 4:21 pm


Part of the fun of working at a museum is that sometimes it’s okay to cut out of the office early and do something really fun—like, for instance, visit a museum.

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Art and Design’s new exhibition, The Global Africa Project, on its opening day. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this exhibition for months. Not only was it co-curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims (former Studio Museum Director) and Dr. Leslie King Hammond (of the Maryland Institute College of Art, as well as a contributor to Re:Collection), the show includes a plethora of the Museum’s former artists in residence and alumni of our exhibition programs. And Associate Curator Naomi Beckwith wrote for the catalogue!

So I hopped on the A train and tried not to be jealous of MAD’s gorgeous building. I’ll leave the official reviews to the pros, but will just say the show is a can’t-miss, packed with amazing art, fashion, textiles, furniture, and more, and blurs the boundaries between all of them. And I loved it. Despite the growing influence of craft practices in contemporary art, it’s still relatively unusual to see such a diversity of materials, forms, and purposes displayed together. As a fanatical knitter and all-around crafty person, the display of “crafts” and “art” together reminded me that all of this amazing stuff—whether a Kehinde Wiley painting or a basket from the Rwandan collective Gahaya Links—was made by people. This is a truism, but sometimes it’s easy in museums to just focus on the finished object instead of remembering the complex hearts, minds, and hands involved in making that object.

I was so inspired that in addition to knitting like a fiend on the subway home, I took a moment in the office today to assemble a DIY project from the show—“Peera,” a cut-out paper bench by Marlon Darbeau and Christopher Cozier of Trinidad’s Alice Yard. Pick up your own at the Global Africa Project! (but I wouldn’t recommend sitting on it...)

Monday, November 15, 2010



Essay by Christopher Cozier A Critical Space: Notes from the Global Yard.

Bios page

Draconian Switch featured. Issue 5. Marlon Darbeau.


Little Gestures with notes- Christopher Cozier

Little Gestures (original)- Christopher Cozier

Artzpub caught up with Artist/Writer/Thinker Christopher Cozier on the eve of his leaving for a showing in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design. We asked him about the show, the Alice Yard art space and his body of work…

Artzpub: It’s been a big year for Alice Yard: Paramaribo Span a string of successful engagements in Alice Yard and now The Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), NYC. Tell us a little bit about how you view the year and how Alice Yard became included in the show at MAD.

Christopher Cozier: Yes – it’s good that our ideas are being noticed and that they can be applied and tested beyond the physical Yard. Fingers crossed.

Lowery Sims first asked me to recommend some design-based work from Trinidad. I sent her links to various things and she was really taken by Marlon Darbeau’s work from the New Orleans show and to things like Draconian Switch. She was initially looking at steel pan and also at architects, so obviously Sean’s investigations came up. Our conversation shifted from Trinidad to the region and to one or two artists from Africa that I had met - people like Ugochukwu Bright Eke, who did a residency at Alice Yard, and Kossi Assou who was in Haiti on my last visit there. I was never thinking of my own work but then she began to research my stuff and realised that there was a design element that keeps coming up in my practice, over the years – the various rubber stamps, the mass-produced objects such as the Box of Fear, the various cards, and objects like the benches or peeras, for example. She was curious about our use of the internet and the dialogues and communities we have been constructing – the ongoing conversation with Sean Leonard and Nicholas Laughlin around Alice Yard and its networks. It all expanded from there and especially after we did the “Critical Space” clip on Youtube for the conference at MICA.

AP: Your old alma mater, MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) is “Co-organising an unprecedented exhibition of African art, design, and craft worldwide”. The show, co-curated by MICA’s own Leslie Hammond King and Lowery Sims, features a number of MICA graduates. It’s been described as one of the twenty top highly anticipated shows of the fall by New York Magazine. What, if any, is the significance of this for you?

CC: OK. I didn’t know that. Well, Leslie was one of my undergraduate lecturers and subsequently advised me in making my choices while applying to graduate school in the 80s. Lowery did studio visits while I was a graduate student at Rutgers but she may not recall. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. For some reason I was thinking more about our little John D, the one that was, back home. In my days it was just a few little wobbly brown stools and tables in a hot dusty room in a large, typical early 60s tropical institutional space. I can still smell the fermenting grain from the flour mills or hear the hiss of steam from T&TEC.

AP: Speaking of alma maters, John D. (John Donaldson Technical Institute) has quite a number of graduates showing around the globe at this time: the Marlons (Griffith and Darbeau), Wendell McShine and of course, yourself. Helluva coincidence.

CC: Not really when you think about it carefully. For example, John D gave me my start as a professional artist – a competitive and solid enough portfolio to get into university abroad. I did not do well in secondary school here so I couldn’t get into UWI. I was a reject from the conventional system even though I passed 11+ for my first choice school. I made doodles and paper planes with my O-level answer sheets. I was extremely alienated. I still have them in a zip-lock bag at home after smuggling them out of the exam room! Maybe they will become part of a future artwork in some way. John D. was my first real lifeline in a society with extremely limited educational and life choices and I gave it my all with that in mind. So, when I first returned to Trinidad after studying abroad, I wanted to be part of that and to follow on with that tradition (not the wobbly desks and the dusty space but the critical dialogues) to do the same for others in whom I saw the same struggle.

I remain astonished and elated at what was accomplished there for and by myself and others, for Wendell, Marlon D and G, Nikolai Noel and so many more. The things we take for granted here in Trinidad confuse me often.

AP: You were chosen to create “Now Showing”, the official image for the 2010 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival. As a result, you ‘returned’ home this year, this being your first showing in Trinidad in a decade. ‘Returned’ is really is a funny term when you look at it because you live and create in Trinidad, though your works have been on tour in collections abroad. What work do you currently have on tour and now that you are ‘home’ so to speak, when can we expect to see the works here in Trinidad?

CC: Yes, I was quite surprised to be asked. An interesting question resides in this idea of “here” – my work resides where there is a context or space for it. We are talking about critical engagement and financial investment – about a responsive professional space for real growth. I would like Trinidad to be one of those kinds of locations as well. I remain optimistic. But then – look at where most Caribbean literature is written and also published. At the end of the day, “home” is wherever one can find some level of equality, dignity and way in the world.

One of my projects is now in Martinique after being in England and Spain, another is still in Canada, a collection of my prints were just on show in the US and Alice Yard is in two shows, the current one at MAD which opens this week and the other which opened in Miami/Basel and was in France over the last few months. The film festival image simply created a reason for me to do something in Trinidad. However on-line my work and ideas are always “here,” “there” or “everywhere” according to how you interpret “location”.

Made in China - Christopher Cozier

The “made in china” box came up in the development of the “Now Showing” image. So the process was a good one for me in that some interesting ideas came up that I would like investigate further, and it may develop into a show that I would like to do here in Trinidad. It’s been 10 years since that has crossed my mind…that’s exciting for me. Having that feeling or thought.

AP: In the short film “Alice Yard: A Work in Progress” by Darryn Boodan and Mariel Brown, you discuss Alice Yard as a conceptual enterprise. Sean Leonard describes the Yard as a place to PLAY. Nicholas Laughlin portrays the Yard as a freedom of the space. Expand on this for us, and give us an overview of where or rather what you see in store for Alice Yard’s immediate future and your hope for the contemporary art scene in Trinidad and Tobago.

CC: We are an actual and virtual yard, delineated/configured by creative interests. We are building a critical or investigative dialogue or conversation, a platform or context for creative endeavors. We are a “yes”... “go ahead” and “do it” space, not a “Trinidad not ready for that” or “people need to be educated” kind of space. We appreciate the value of dreams and self respect. We are both an actual physical space as well as a virtual one so the logical step is for Sean’s experiments with architecture as designing spaces for social interaction to keep expanding out into the region and the diaspora. For our recently accomplished (and of course celebrated) 4th anniversary, Marcel Pinas and Ann Hermelijn of Suriname, Sheena Rose of Barbados, Heino Schmid and John Cox from The Bahamas and O’Neil Lawrence of Jamaica joined us for a series of discussions and presentations as we try to figure how to facilitate each other’s interests. We are trying to figure how to move artists between these locations and build curatorial projects and exchanges.

AP: Chris you have always been a solo artist, in a sense. How is the experience different now that you're at MAD as part of a collective?

CC: I have never seen myself that way. I am always in dialogue with others about their work and ideas and my own. Roxanne Fung’s family bakery in St Anns made the bread for my Chicago installation of “Bread on Wheels” – the shape of the loaves suited the look I wanted, Kiss Bread for my Cuba installation of sandwiches. I have collaborated with Earth TV and later Richard Fung for my video works. And for this Alice Yard work, Marlon Darbeau, Sean and Murphy at the Callaloo Company – the list is long.

Work is also “produced” by someone simply looking at it or by someone choosing to create the situation in which it can be experienced and through critical reflection and so on.

There are many kinds of collectives. I have always seen my works as also being engaged in a conversation, as building a kind of critical architecture or context not just for my own interests.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Joy Wai Gallery is proud to celebrate its grand opening by inviting international photographers to challenge themselves for its inaugural exhibition, Whose Self-Portrait? The Subject Behind the Camera. This group exhibition will comprise a collection of images from a selection of contemporary photographers that will explore the varied aspects of self-portraiture in a fresh and creative manner.Trinidadian Photographer Rodell Warner is among those who have been invited.The gallery will open its doors to the public on December 16th, 2010 in Downtown New York. Whose Self-Portrait? The Subject Behind the Camera will be on display through January 31st 2011.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


thebookmann | November 03, 2007

What is more important? the idea, the performance or the public reaction to both? Michelle Isava wants to test the waters and she is given the opportunity to do so at Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies. Alice Yard is a platform for independent artists to showcase their work.

Ms. Isava work entails a performance piece of a type not seen to this degree locally. With her video camera, she enclosed herself into a cardboard box and projected a live image onto a screen visible to the people mulling around in the yard.

Ms. Isava's duration is set at closing time which means she may confine herself in the enclosure for over four hours. Her concept prior to the performance, she says is to expose herself to places she feels most less at ease. The power of this installation is its simplicity. And as inquisitive humans are, the disillusion to the reality that the projected video was indeed of a woman fidgeting around in a box all this time had members of the audience scratching their heads and finding the piece quite disturbing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Richard Wells, Business Development Director, CMB (left) hands his namesake, Richard Rawlins, a cheque in front of CMB’s office on Rust Street, St. Clair.

Artist-Designer and Associate Creative Director, Richard Mark Rawlins heads off to the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), NYC to be part of the ground breaking exhibition “The Global Africa Project”.

Rawlins, a full-time creative mind, manages the studio at Collier Morrison Belgrave (CMB) Limited, is a collaborator in the Alice Yard artspace initiative and is the publisher of Draconian Switch eMagazine. Rawlins will be showing a special ALICE YARD issue of Draconian Switch at The Global Africa Project.

Draconian Switch is an Art and Design magazine published in Trinidad and Tobago by Rawlins with the collaboration of a group of artists, designers, and writers. The Magazine’s primary goal is to feature the work of contemporary artists currently working in Trinidad and Tobago or with global Caribbean connections.

The Global Africa Project will feature the work of over 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States and the Caribbean.

Managing Director at CMB, Mark White, said he was happy to part sponsor Rawlins as “we either support those who offer a progressive reshape of our future or abdicate leaving life in the hands of those with questionable designs…”.

Rawlins recently concluded “Chinese Worker” at Alice Yard, an exhibition examining the influx and impact of the Chinese worker on local society.




and we are live... new site new issue of Draconian Switch...Issue 15 features ALICE YARD. New site design by TANYA WILLIAMS, Webdev by Anderson Mitchell...This issue of Draconian Switch is also appearing in the GLOBAL AFRICA PROJECT at MAD, NYC. read. enjoy. share.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Show & Tell 11: Tech_Styles

Friday November 12th, 2010

Feeling flooded with the day to day grind? Why not get away from it all and come down to our next instalment of Show and Tell. This month we are looking forward to being taken on a virtual spin by two presenters deeply involved in the new digital way.

Sharleen Chin
Sharleen Chin, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Meiling, is one of only twenty people in the Caribbean with expertise in the realm of virtual worlds.

A.K.A Chigadee London, she is the premier hat designer in Second Life and her three year old virtual business (Couture Chapeau) is a successful, but tiny drop in a multi-billion dollar, cutting-edge industry. Sharleen makes a comfortable living selling virtual hats in a virtual world, playing her part in a new type of career. These immersive worlds have been used by corporate giants for several years now as educational, communication, commercial, public relation and fund raising tools and they are set to keep on growing.

"You are only limited by your imagination" says Sharleen, adding that “it is perhaps one of the most creative platforms ever available to anyone."

Mark Lyndersay
Computer enhanced, digitally enabled photographer and technology writer Mark Lyndersay explores the nexus of the creative process and digital technologies from his perspective as a technology columnist and professional photographer. Mark began his digital journey as a photographer in 1990 with the first commercial copy of Photoshop (1.07) at the Trinidad Guardian.

As he puts it, "I saw the clone tool and that was it. I knew my career would be changing right then and there."

Lyndersay has worked as a photographer and journalist in Trinidad and Tobago since 1976 and his column on personal technology, BitDepth, has been published continuously since 1995.

Spread the word, admission is free.

Drinks are on the house thanks to Red Bull, Brydens ( and Island Beers (!/group.php?gid=59180998492) who have supplied us with energy, vino and an excellent range of English ales (don’t forget to tip your server!).

DJ K-Lik is here for the afterparty with fine future sounds, so stick around afterwards.

Doors open at 6:30pm.

See you there!
Visit their new and improved facebook page for more details. (

Vintage Clothing Market at Abovegroup

Saturday, November 13 · 9:00am - 4:00pm

Unique, affordable and eco-friendly On sale will be one-of-a-kind designer and high-street brands, day to night, from around the globe, TT$10 and up. Also on sale: recycled shoes and gorgeous baby clothes. Brands include Costume National, Betsey Johnson, Hussein Chalayan, Marc Jacobs, The Cloth, Zac Posen for Target, Hayden Harnett, Martin Margiela (shoes), Antik Batik, Ghost, Meiling, Isabelle Marant, Jean Paul Gaultier, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler, Yves St Laurent. All sizes represented. Please bring your own bags. We will also have eco-friendly reusable bags on sale if you forget your own!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Designer Marlon Darbeau Showing at MAD

man among the peeras courtesy Damian Libert

Marlon Darbeau is a Designer and Creative Director of Trinidad’s leading Design and Branding firm, Abovegroup. He is also a collaborator at the Alice Yard art-space initiative. He comes from a family tradition of making things in a workshop that was at home or very close to home.

Designer Darbeau is showing his PEERA project at the Global Africa Project show opening on the 17th of November 2010 and continues through to 2013 at the Museum of Art and Design, NYC.

The show brings together over 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean. The exhibition actively challenges conventional notions of a singular African aesthetic and identity, and reflects the integration of African art and design without making the usual distinctions between “professional” and “artisan.”

The ‘PEERA project’ is a contemporary re-interpretation of the traditional wooden benches that are a household presence in Trinidad and Tobago. Darbeau’s interpretation mixes the familiar with the innovative to create a design object that is both utilitarian and aesthetically desirable. A concept he attributes to discussions with Architect Sean Leonard who challenged him to see what more could be done with this object to make it more than just a place to sit. This new ‘PEERA’ employs a number of manufacturing processes and collaborations from cnc routing to traditional joinery and even powder coating by PANLAND. The end result is an art object that provides two benches, one metal and one wood with a unit space that allows the adding of specially designed ice trays to keep wine or beer chilled. This makes it great for cricket or just carrying around tools in your car.

Darbeau no stranger to showing his work has exhibited at Alice Yard, Woodbrook, POS. and the BECA Art Gallery, New Orleans. PEERA launches commercially in Trinidad soon.

for more on MARLON DARBEAU click here.
for a short film about ALICE YARD click here.
for more about ABOVEGROUP click here.