Caribbean Linked II Artist Blogs: Germille Geerman

Aruban artist Germille Geerman shares his blog post about  Caribbean Linked II, his recent residency at Ateliers ’89, Aruba. Following his review of the opening exhibition, Geerman tells us more about the time leading up to it, and playing hard in addition to working hard as he got to know the other residents. He emphasizes the value of having spaces like this to feel comfortable in and form connections, while still engaging with like minded, critical artists.

The infamous Bronco.

The infamous Bronco.

Have you ever heard of men with pink nails?? Man did Those pink walls have me beat,… But the painting Had to be done,… My new motto for the Ateliers is, “Meet me at the Giant Lipstick…” And they did… The meet & greet was nice… Alydia Kicked ass,… and There I met them,… Mark, Rodell, Veronica, Omar, Shirley, Sofia, Robin, and of course Kevin,… It’s great seeing him again,… and meeting everybody else, breaking the ice… Dhiraj Didn’t make it on time,… But he did the next day… Fashionably late in his Flexibleman SUIT and with a great speech… We had breakfast, lunch and dinn,… Well, we had Heavy Lunches to say the least… We got classes where we got to know each & everyone’s career & goals… We were Served like Kings & Queens,… And Mentored by the finest on the island,…

Aritsts meeting with Ciro Abath for a studio visit

Aritsts meeting with Ciro Abath for a studio visit

It was an honor getting to know these Aruban contemporary Artists So close & Personal,… Visiting their Ateliers, being in their homes… A little bit of the “family feeling” even if it was for a little while… I had a lot to do before it all started… Every day,… Late nights, and “try-to” early mornings, kind of,… Don Jacinto’s Was great,.. It’s a pity the waitresses didn’t make it to the expo… They’ve treated us well,… The Guys liked them a great bunch… Ciro (Terafuse), Osaira (StudiO), Glenda (San Nicolas TV), Ryan (SWBE Media), Alydia Wever Theater Dance Company… Carubbian, Buchi’s Place, Not Buchi Bar (there’s a difference) Copacabana for the great tip,… Ofno Glenda?? Alejandra, Local store, Kevin’s Pool Party, Danny @House of Music, Bruno Getz, Taliban, For the amazing Vibez… Don Pinchos, mano,… If you’re ever in the area Do pass by,… All Great People,… they treated us all Grandly… And shall treat you so Too,… Zeerovers? Epicc swa,… Still Looking forward for the GIF’s Mark,… Que Pasa… Last year was with Annalee, This year was with Holly, by accident,… Same table too,… Funny coincidence… Those waiters did not come also,… What is it with waiters not visiting us on our expo night, Right?

The wine.

The wine.

Here I met Friends,… The Golden Kind,… We all have same aims & goals,… Ain’t that something… Everyone had their corner… Yup, the Ateliers is THAT BIG… We had a Bronco,… a Birdie,… We Concur & Conquered (original, no copia) The whole Island for those 12 days,… Yup… Aruba was Our Oyster,… And will always be,… We had 2 huge wine Bottles to do some Art with… So we did, we drank them for inspiration and of course, The Ultimate Party Fuel… Right Guys??? “Apparently we kind of got in trouble”… But we did Not… They asked for art, and Are Getting a Pretty Amazing unique Contemporary Glass Piece, To add to their collection, In collaboration with Ciro Abath, Mr Terafuse… I’m going to label it after work today… And Sign in to our name so we can deliver it… The Sponsor didn’t make it the opening night… I supposed it’d be nice if we get to host him at a Closing Expo,… It’s all Soooooo Worth it,… And he does deserve to get his Gift with a Bang,… Once again Elvis did it,… Ateliers ’89 is a very important place for culture & Education, Folks,… I hope The Big Ones who should realize that do So, and do keep on pushing it,… Elvis Deserves it,… But Aruba too,… Deserves Ateliers ’89… It’s a monument, man… One that I know like “mi plant’I man”… To Nicole, Shantrelle & Holly & Annalee,… Thank You all a Bunch.. It was sooo worth it, and soo beautiful indeed… To everybody that made it happen, Thank You all a bunch… And to those who came, It’s an honor & a pleasure to have had shared this with all of you… And Those who didn’t make it yet? Ta KI BO TA WARDA ANTO,..!?!?!?
Salu2…

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About Germille Geerman:

Germille German is an emerging visual artist and writer from Aruba. Born in 1988 he started using film at the age of 15 working for the local ATV station. He has travelled widely, and started formal training at the Ateliers ’89 under Elvis Lopez in 2009. He started freelancing at the age of 20 and is looking for his next great destination.

CARIBBEAN LINKED II is a residency programme and exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and funded by the Mondriaan Foundation. The programme took place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Caribbean Linked II Exhibition Review: Germille Geerman

Aruban artist Germille Geerman presents ‘True Beauty of Imperfection’, his account of the Caribbean Linked II residency programme at Ateliers ’89, Aruba. Geerman writes an insider’s review of the residency’s closing exhibition, interspersed with personal anecdotes about his fellow artists. He shows not only the diversity of the work, but also the dynamics between the residents and the bonds they formed throughout this shared experience.

Germille Geerman, participating artist in Caribbean Linked II

True Beauty of Imperfection

It’s 9:06am, I woke up on the porno couch… rays of sun in my face… silhouettes of the watapana tree, playing on my body… I’m hungover…

Mark wasn’t there to say goodbye… and apparently all the girls went off too… by now their plane should be leaving at any moment. It’s the morning after the Expo… Yesterday… Well… It was magical… It was all perfectly aligned for excellence… And that was it indeed. On the dot, to the point of perfection.

A couple of nights without sleeping, but the energy… The LIFE…? Well, you should have been there to live it. 10 Young Artists, Elvis, 3 curators, a great Bunch of Aruban contemporary artists mentoring us through the Journey. A whole gang of mimes starting off the Grand Opening… What a Performance it was… Chills down your spine as they come to you and look you in the eye… You’ll get the “kippevell” once you blend in and become a part of this extraordinarily supernatural stroll… Everything black & white, Graffiti everywhere… even on the donation box…

Veronica Dorsett. From the Focus Series. Images courtesy of Omar Kuwas

Veronica Dorsett. From the Focus Series. Images courtesy of Omar Kuwas.

As you walk in, you bump into Veronica’s installation, a tremendous piece… circles & lines… Actual lines, in your face… Uber Multi-Dimensional. And off course her artwork… Gorgeous collages, carefully mounted… every night she worked till 8 or so in the morning… I was there… I saw it with my own eyes… So you better believe it.

Now we wander off to Sofia’s space… “Mi Chilindrina,” only I get to call her that… Flawless brushstrokes watered down. Around that, she made a gallery, so everybody can feel what it’s like to be in that chair and see the world through her eyes… With a combination of vibrant lime green/white and whatever magic that sticks in between.  Sofia is a tremendous street artist from Puerto Rico Living in New York… Don’t believe me? Go ask El Residente, I dare you…
Sofia did some “mental-pictures” of our Journey, the nightlife, the Ateliers, her own thoughts & compositions all organically, by hand… All neonic-fine on the line… all square framed…

Sofia Maldonado's Tropical Studio. Photographs courtesy of Omar Kuwas.

Sofia Maldonado’s Tropical Studio. Photographs courtesy of Omar Kuwas.

Our momentas… There is one missing, though. Her ode to our Carubbian night. Well, That’s a group secret I suppose, and it stays between us, the fortunate few, forever in our hearts… The Dutch call that “Een onder-onsje.”

Now we wander off to Robin, an Ateliers ’89 Prodigy… She just finished Rietveld… Her cookie is sculptures; She did a minimalistic (yet larger than life) piece. Our circular auras & reach, is what I call it. Can’t remember its name though… Then we have “A pet a day keeps the doctor away…” And right next to it, we have the giant plaster… You won’t believe this story if I told you…

A Pet A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. Mixed Media Installation by Robin de Vogel

A Pet A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. Mixed Media Installation by Robin de Vogel

Well, here goes anyways…

Her original mold was clay, installed on the inner stage in the Yard of the Ateliers… This goes back a couple of days ago… It rained… Cats, dogs, pimps & Hoes… The cover couldn’t save the piece… She had to remake it again… in one of the studio spaces… This Type of work.. You need your privacy, it’s a very intimate process.

Robin and the resident artists helping with production of the mold for her installation.

Robin and the resident artists helping with production of the mold for her installation.

But wait… It now has to be Transported to the Expo area… In Papiamento we say: “Ey ta unda e rabo di porco ta Krull…” I, by accident dropped in when they were transporting it… “Paar di sak’I webo puñete,” A bunch of guys watching a young lady fighting her way with this monumental heavy piece…
But we did it… And the end Result, turned out to be glorious in all its depth…

As we follow to the next room, to the right hand we find The Flexible Man Installation… By Dhiradj. A Tremendous collection of 4 full body suits… Yes full body, I wore one… Do you see the dancing Flexibleman that gets beaten up by the dominant FlexibleLady in his film? Yes, From Head to Toe… Filled with a rare collection of all sorts of textiles… From all over the world… And what an Honor it was to feel the presence of the Flexiblemen Wandering around the expo sharing the joy and illustriousness.

Dhiradj Ramsamoedj's Flexible Man Performance on the opening night of Caribbean Linked II.

Dhiradj Ramsamoedj’s Flexible Man Performance on the opening night of Caribbean Linked II.

To The Left… Rodell’s Kaleidoscopic Paradise…

For the last week, Rodell has made a High Reliefic Backdrop Filled with Patterns and somehow All the Patterns connect back through each other… But that Wasn’t enough… To Make it more Irie he had to “leave it be, all crumpilly…” So he mashed it all up together, and on that, he Projects his Massive archive of kaleidoscopes which at the end did create this altered state of being and a Divine Auratic Composition of one’s being and Form.

He should GIF them though… Well At least I hope he’ll do it, anytime in the near future… The Follow-up, I hope… 😉

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Kevin Schuit collaborates with Rodell Warner to produce images for ‘First Light’.

Next Room: The walls are black… and you start to see 2 Massive abstract photographs… Oui, Oui… We bounce off to Shirley… People look at “pictures” and they go like… It’s nice…
Baby… That ain’t nice… That’s ACID, right there… Real Acid… Chemistry… Mushroom Clouds when stuff goes Wrong… A Life Threatening Procedure… “just so you can look at the pictures…” Real danger, folks… Analog Photography… And Blasted up to that amazing life-size…
But the depth of the content… You’re gonna have to ask SHisHi, herself… That’s her Journey… Something only She can Describe…

Shirley Rufin photographic installation

Shirley Rufin photographic installation

Now we go to the left: Black & White Pictures..? WRONG..! Pinhole Photography… Nowadays, you set your smartphone camera to B&W and shoot anything, anywhere… Not this Guy… Omar’ll make a camera out of anything… cans, buckets or boxes… He shoots them… develops them, digitize them and blow them up to these great sizes… Such pictures take minimum 20 seconds to take, so sometimes in ends up being a cute/sharp still… But just Sometimes… It has these Amazing retrospective/nostalgic feel to it… Imagine that…

Omar Kuwas. Pinhole photography.

Omar Kuwas. Pinhole photography.

We keep on going to the left… It’s the King’s Corner… “son of diplo”

Mark Took all his time studying the intense History of Patterns, Ancient Stuff… Lot’s of stuff… And At the end he developed our Flag… Creation of a flag… It ain’t an easy task, folks… I’ve stood there… We even went out on field Studying Patterns found on Aruba… From leftover floor turned into a parking facility to the Archeological Museum, Fences & Architecture on the island… From All of this, He got Amazed with a block structure… A very common block on the island, yet specific… Used very, very wildly throughout our infrastructure… Well… He molded it… TWICE…

But we are not going to talk about that… We’re talking about the one who made it, and was gold plated and installed to be interacted with, as if it was a “draaitoll”…

And it’s platform? The design behind our flag… Right there on the ground, like a board game. So, it’s not a board game… It’s a TileGame… Developed by M.K. ’13…

Mark King’s Installation with breeze block configuration and project flag.

Mark King’s Installation with breeze block configuration and project flag.

Listen… Close your eyes…
There’s a sound here, that don’t belong…
But there are no more rooms… except the restroom…

In the wall, there is a glitch… Kind of looks Like a frame of a door… But Blinded… Or is it? It must be… But there’s a sound behind it… As you go closer, It kind of seems that there’s a cold breeze coming from somewhere… And as you dare… You realize, that it’s not a door, it’s not blinded… But, It’s a curtain… The whole expo was warm… Finally, air conditioning… Believe you, me… You jump in whether you want to or not… Welcome to the Pedestal… It’s a polaroid… But a Huge one, a motion one… Hanging on the wall… And it’s all dark… There’s a pillar, a gorgeous one, “E Pedestal…” And a load of money raining down… And on top of the Pedestal, You see the face of a man… Is it the young version of the monopoly man? His rebel version maybe? Or is he just a common man… The common man, Fascinated by money, or maybe Frustrated by money, All that money comes with and in between… You can see his lips moving, but you can’t hear a word he is saying… But you wanna…
Ohhh, All the possibilities… Point being, at the End… When you want it to Rain… You do the RainDance… When you want money, You Go to the Pedestal…

Germille Geerman’s Pedestal. Image courtesy of Nicole Smythe-Johnson.

Germille Geerman’s Pedestal. Image courtesy of Nicole Smythe-Johnson.

Take five, right?
Yeah, Let’s grab a wine by the bar… Red or white, You decide… Greet some people, have a laugh, share some thoughts with our visitors, Talking to them, How’ve they been, how’d they like it so far… Smiling with the DJ, enjoying the Grooves… Bust a move… Letting loose… You know..? Then we see, There’s another door open on the other side… All white inside… Something Must be Going On… Ohhh, but there is…

It’s Kevin’s area… Our Other Prodigy, just graduated also from the Rietveld, yet he cannot be with us tonight… As we speak, he’s receiving his YOUNGBLOOD award in HOLLAND, he had to leave yesterday… But what can we say… the Man’s in his Prime at the moment… We are happy for him…

Kevin Schuit's installation for Caribbean Linked II. Photo courtesy Omar Kuwas.

Kevin Schuit’s installation for Caribbean Linked II. Photo courtesy Omar Kuwas.

It’s the last stop… To get there you must walk amongst the party, the whole gathering, sitting areas and everything… But you do get there eventually… I was drunk that night, by the way…  So don’t ask me the names… But as we walk in, we look on top, Floating Piles of DriftJunk… Rubbles… But from an angle as if you were standing at the bottom of the ocean looking at them, wondering when your next breath shall be… And the Northcoast ain’t no easy coast… So, from that angle, You’re probably in a Flush… Trying to get back up… I know… I’ve been there too…

Wash off those piles on to our flawless beaches here… So I suppose they ain’t so flawless anymore… Thank’s allot, waterjunk.. Pollution everywhere…

Transporting the boulder for Kevin Schuit's installation. Photo courtesy Omar Kuwas.

Transporting the boulder for Kevin Schuit’s installation. Photo courtesy Omar Kuwas.

Now to his Masterpiece… The Travelling Rock… Yes, Rock… Boulder, as big as a beanbag chair… But, heavy, I tell you… The Bronco took us through hell & back to get it… Ask Mark… We still have the scars to prove it… But yes… Rock on wheels, Rocking On… You can drive it, if you want… It’s right there… Kevin loves rocks… They are powerful and transmit energy, he always says…

Well Folks, This was it… I Hope You’ve enjoyed the ride… Until Next year… See You At the next Caribbean Linked… In whatever corner of the world that we shall be… With lots of Love…

The Ateliers ’89…

BIBA ARTE..!!! 😉

Kevin Schuit's installation for Caribbean Linked II. Photo courtesy Sofia Maldonado.

Kevin Schuit’s installation for Caribbean Linked II. Photo courtesy Sofia Maldonado.

About Germille Geerman:

Germille German is an emerging visual artist and writer from Aruba. Born in 1988 he started using film at the age of 15 working for the local ATV station. He has travelled widely, and started formal training at the Ateliers ’89 under Elvis Lopez in 2009. He started freelancing at the age of 20 and is looking for his next great destination.

CARIBBEAN LINKED II is a residency programme and exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and funded by the Mondriaan Foundation. The programme took place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Caribbean Linked II – Opening Exhibition

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On Thursday, September 5th, 2013 from 8pm, the Ateliers ’89 in Orajanestad, Aruba welcomes the Aruban public to the Caribbean Linked II Opening Exhibition featuring new works by: Shirley Rufin (Martinique) | Veronica Dorsett (The Bahamas) | Sofia Maldonado (Puerto Rico/Cuba) | Mark King (Barbados) | Rodell Warner (Trinidad & Tobago) | Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname) | Omar Kuwas (Curacao) | Germille Geerman ( Aruba) | Robin de Vogel (Aruba) and Kevin Schuit (Aruba).

There will be an opening performance by Gang di Arte and this event is held in collaboration with ARC Magazine, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc, The Instituto Buena Bista, Studio O, Caribbean TV and San Nicolass TV.

The exhibition Halls are located at the Aterliers ’89 Foundation, Dominicanessenstr. 34, Oranjestad, Aruba. For more information call 565 4613.

Major sponsor of this event is the Mondriaan Foundation.

RSVP to attend here: http://on.fb.me/17CQHIH 

Caribbean Linked II: Artist Residency Programme and Exhibition

caribbean linked

Ateliers ’89 Foundation and the Mondriaan Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. present CARIBBEAN LINKED II, a residency programme and exhibition which will take place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Invited Artists include: Omar Kuwas (Curaçao), Veronica Dorsett (The Bahamas), Mark King (Barbados), Shirley Rufin (Martinique), Sofia Maldonado (Puerto Rico/US), Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname), Rodell Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Robin de Vogel, Kevin Schuit and Germille Geerman (Aruba). The selected artists were chosen collaboratively by Annalee Davis, Holly Bynoe and Elvis Lopez.

Caribbean Linked II will be held in association with Studio O, Terafuse, Museo Arqueologico Arubano, UNOCA, San Nicolas TV, Departamento di Cultura, SVE TV, Alydia Wever Theatre Dance Company and Gang di Arte Aruba.

Most popular through Facebook and social media platforms, to be linked or to be connected is the world’s most common way to be associated right now. This residency and exhibition will present young talent while raising issues of their collective futures by discussing the survival of artists, and the sustainability of local creative communities that nurture their development and maintain their connectivity. This residency becomes a crucial space for building awareness across disparate creative communities in the Caribbean and its diaspora by finding ways to connect young and emerging artists with each other. Selected participants will engage in two weeks of open discussion and critiques, various professional workshops, visit established local artists’ studios and better understand the creative cultural industries that propel Aruban art. An exhibition of work produced during the residency will be displayed at Ateliers ’89 and will open on September 5th.

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Collaborating local artists include Alydia Wever, Ciro Abath, Evelino Fingal, Glenda Heyliger, John Freddy Montoya, Marian Abath, Nelson Gonzales, Osaira Muyale and Ryan Oduber. Collaborating partner professionals and institutions include Vivi Ruiz of the Archaeology Museum of Aruba, Lupita Giel of UNOCA and Siegfried Dumfries of the Department of Culture.

Participating institutions include:

ARC Magazine

ARC Magazine is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform founded in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas. ARC’s mission is to build awareness by fostering exchanges and opportunities that expand creative culture, within the visual arts industry across the wider Caribbean and its diasporas.

Fresh Milk

The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. is a Caribbean non-profit, artist-led, inter-disciplinary organization that supports creatives and promotes wise social, economic, and environmental stewardship through creative engagement with society and by cultivating excellence in the arts. The idea for Fresh Milk developed over years of conversations with other practicing artists around the need for artistic engagement amongst contemporary practitioners living and working in Barbados, with an expressed need to strengthen links with the region and the diaspora. Fresh Milk bridges the divides between creative disciplines, generations of creatives, and works across all linguistic territories in the region – functioning as a cultural lab, constantly redefining itself. The platform transforms into a gathering space for contemporary creatives who are thirsty to debate ideas and share works through local and international residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, projects etc.

Ateliers ‘89

The Foundation ‘Ateliers ’89’ offers Arubans and others interested from the Caribbean region an orientation on contemporary applied art and design. Workshops in different disciplines as painting, installations, video-art, photography, drawing, fashion, theatrical-design, ceramics, animation, graphic design and history of art are organized in a spacious, open and comfortable setting. Established foreign and local artist teach at the studio’s. Every workshop culminates in an exhibition which is open to the public. Furthermore, there are special workshops and tours of the exhibitions for children and young students. Ateliers ’89 works in close cooperation with a number of art academies in the Netherlands. This way, young talents who started off in the workshops of Ateliers ’89 can easily find their way to a Dutch academy.