Transoceanic Visual Exchange Caribbean 2015 Video

Take a look at a short video about Fresh Milk‘s recent project Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) Caribbean, which was held throughout October. TVE 2015 was a survey of contemporary video art and film from across the Caribbean, Africa and Aotearoa that was presented in collaboration with Video Art Network Lagos (Nigeria) and RM (New Zealand).

Thanks so much to Sammy Davis for shooting and editing this video, to our local partners the Bim Films Festival, the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) Film Club and the Barbados Community College (BCC), and to Stansfeld Scott Inc. for their sponsorship.

Transoceanic Visual Exchange and the Fresh Milk Team featured in Barbados Today

In her arts column ‘About Town, Across Country’ for the Barbados Today e-newspaper, Katrina Marshall recently shared two articles: one on the Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) programme, and one focusing on what it means to be an artist-in-residence, speaking with Fresh Milk’s Katherine Kennedy about her work and residency experiences to explore the topic.

Thanks very much, Katrina, for taking an interest in the arts!

Barbados today TVE

To read the article on TVE, which appeared on pages 12-13 of the October 22 edition of Barbados Today, click here.

Barbados today Katherine article

To read the article about Katherine Kennedy and her thoughts on artist residencies, which appeared on pages 12-13 of the October 30 edition of Barbados Today, click here.

Transoceanic Visual Exchange Caribbean

TVE flyer McGilchrist

A survey of film and video works in the Caribbean, Africa and Aotearoa, Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade. The three spaces involved – Fresh Milk (Barbados), Video Art Network Lagos (Nigeria) and RM (New Zealand) – first met as participants of International Artist Initiated (IAI), a programme organized and facilitated by David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, in July 2014. TVE intends to build upon these relations and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between the artist run initiatives and their regional communities through this laterally curated exhibition project, taking place in Barbados, New Zealand, Nigeria and online.

TVE Caribbean will launch at 7pm on October 14, 2015 at Bagnall Point, BIDC Conference Room, Pelican Village in Bridgetown, Barbados as part of the Barbados Visual Media Festival (BVMF). The exhibition will also be open to the public at that location on October 17, 28 & 30 and features works by:

Versia Harris (Barbados), Katherine Kennedy (Barbados), Michèle Pearson Clarke (Trinidad & Tobago / Canada), Romel Jean Pierre (Haiti), Nick Whittle / Alberta Whittle (Barbados), Rebecca Ann Hobbs (Aotearoa), Ngahuia Raima (Aotearoa), Louisa Afoa (Aotearoa), Nkechi Ebubedike (Nigeria) and Lambert Mousseka (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

There will be additional special screenings taking place at Fresh Milk, The Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) as part of their Film Club Screenings and Barbados Community College (BCC):

October 16, 6pm – Fresh Milk, St. George
Rebecca Ann Hobbs – Mangere bridge 246 / Otara at Night (Aotearoa)

October 22, 7pm – Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination
Darcell Apelu – Slap (Aotearoa)
Akwaeke Emezi – Ududeagu (Nigeria)
Carlo Reyes – Viernes Santo (Dominican Republic)

October 29-30, 10am-4pm – Morningside Gallery, Barbados Community College
Olivia McGilchrist – Riva Mumma (Jamaica)
David Gumbs – Offscreen (St. Martin)

RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

For more information please visit www.transoceanicvisualexchange.com, or email Natalie McGuire at tveproject.caribbean@gmail.com.

Special thanks to the Barbados Film and Video Association (BFVA), EBCCI, BCC and Stansfeld Scott Inc. for making these screenings possible, and to Versia Harris and Katherine Kennedy for designing the logo, digital space and flyers.

TVE Open Call – Deadline Extended

TVE (transoceanic visual exchange) is making an open call in search of recent artists’ films and videos to be included in an exchange between Fresh Milk (Barbados), RM, (Auckland) and VAN Lagos (Nigeria). The deadline for submissions has been extended until February 27, 2015.

TVE flyer Extension

Fresh Milk, RM and VAN Lagos, are pleased to welcome submissions of recent film and video works – screenings, installations and expanded cinema – by contemporary artists, to be included in programmes for exchange between Barbados, Auckland and Lagos. Submitted works must have been completed in the last five years and must be made by artists practicing in the Caribbean, Africa or Polynesia.

The foundation of this transoceanic visual exchange (TVE) will be a collection of recent artist’s film and video from each region. However, the final shape and content of the programme will be informed by an open workshop process, which aims to involve and promote discussion within the wider arts communities of each arts initiative.

Working between the Caribbean, Africa and Polynesia, TVE aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade. Fresh Milk, VAN Lagos and RM first met as participants of International Artists Initiated, a programme organized and facilitated by David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, in July 2014. TVE intends to build upon relations established during this initial encounter and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between the artist run initiatives and their communities.

Submissions:  

  • Must be work from artists practicing in the Caribbean, Africa or Polynesia.
  • Must be work that has been completed/made in the last five years.
  • Can be films of any length (shorts, experimental, features and video artworks)
  • Can be in any language (films originally produced in regional languages are welcome) with English subtitles.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome
  • Must be accompanied by a description of the work (500 words max), a bio (200 words max) and detail of any technical requirements i.e. audio, installation, equipment required, preferred setting etc.
  • Works must be in the form of mp4 files no larger than 10MB, or private Vimeo / Youtube links

The new deadline for submission is February 27, 2015 for all regions.

The exchange will occur in June/July 2015

Please send submissions and enquiries to the region in which you are practicing:

Caribbean: freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com
Polynesia: taarati@rm103.org
Africa: info@vanlagos.org / vanlagos.org@gmail.com

About the Spaces

Fresh milk colours

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. Fresh Milk bridges the divides between creative disciplines, generations of creatives, and all linguistic territories in the region. It functions as a cultural lab, fostering critical, creative practices through local, regional and international programming. The platform transforms into a gathering space for contemporary creatives who are thirsty to debate ideas and share works through residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, projects etc.

van lagos logo

The Video Art Network, Lagos (VAN, Lagos) is a Lagos based New Media art organization, established by the collaborative efforts of artists Emeka Ogboh, Jude Anogwih and cultural producer Oyindamola Fakeye. The organizations objectives are to develop educational and public programmes that promote and create new media art awareness in Nigeria. This is realized through curated screenings and exhibitions of both established and emerging New Media artists.

RM

RM is an artist-run space, project office and (gradually developing) archive. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, RM is a gallery that places the work of local emerging artists alongside more seasoned practitioners. RM seeks to engage with the practices, discourses and modes of presentation that aren’t well-supported or easily accessible in Auckland. Though we might look like a white cube, we are more interested in the potentials of an empty room – a space to gather, to think, to talk, to make, to share… Established in 1997, RM is the country’s longest running artist-run-space. The co-directors are Eleanor Cooper, Melanie Kung, Ziggy Lever, Fleur Sandbrook, Taarati Taiaroa, and co-founder Nick Spratt. Previous incarnations of the rm project have included rm3, rm212, rm401 and rm103.

FRESH MILK XVII Review

Kwame Slusher, writer and current team leader of Fresh Milk Books, shares a review of our final event for 2014, FRESH MILK XVII which took place on December 19. The event featured presentations by resident artists, overviews of past and upcoming projects & activities, and a potluck celebration dinner to close out our year. 

All photography by Dondré Trotman.

IMG_0016

…so we jewel the edges of his body

With shattered bottles, then bear him
to the foot of the casuarinas in order that his born
silhouette may freely flash and prance—

– Christian Campbell
Goodmans Bay II

The game described in Campbell’s poem, which he read at the event FRESH MILK XVII that took place on December 19, 2014, is known as Moon Shine Baby/Dolly—a traditional game played by children in the Caribbean and West Africa. One person is chosen or chooses to be the ‘baby/dolly’ and they lie down on the ground, while the other children outline the ‘baby/dolly’ with limestone and broken shards of glass. When the other children are finished, ‘baby/dolly’ gets up and their silhouette of found things would glitter in the moonlight. The game in Campbell’s poem is reminiscent of the Ancient Greek girl that wanted to preserve the memory of her lover who, after a time, had to return to his homeland. As the story goes, she made her lover stand still while she traced the outline of his shadow, then later, got her father to fill it in with clay. Inadvertently, like the game in Campbell’s poem, she not only created a space to remember someone by, but where something new can be developed.

FRESH MILK XVII was not just a space for the latest two resident artists to formally present on their work and experiences, but also an opportunity for members of the Fresh Milk platform to recount recent activities and to look to the future. In the wake of not having a National Art Gallery, Fresh Milk’s director Annalee Davis stated in her opening remarks that “…we live in an era necessarily of self-organization. Civil society must self-organize and build the spaces we want and need for ourselves.” Like the gathered bits of limestone and glass on the beach and the outline of the lost lover, Fresh Milk is  attempting to reimagine a historical space that fosters creativity.

The first presenter, Barbadian arts writer Natalie McGuire, spoke about the Transoceanic Visual Exchange, which is a project Fresh Milk is working on in conjunction with two other art communities: RM in New Zealand and Video Art Network (VAN) Lagos in Nigeria. McGuire said that the project was about upending traditional notions of geo-political space and cultural exchanges. The project is looking for submissions from filmmakers, video artists or artists that work between these spaces—those whose works don’t quite qualify to be shown in a gallery or in a cinema —to go about creating a digital sphere where these cultural exchanges can take place.

Barbadian visual artist and writer Katherine Kennedy then spoke about her experiences at Akadamie Schloss Solitude in Germany, where she had been selected to participate in the ResSupport Fellowship Programme offered by Res Artis on behalf of Fresh Milk from September 1st to December 1st. In her presentation, Kennedy looked at the different connections and encounters that she made with a diverse cross-section of people from around the world. In addition to the interconnection of ideas in a single space, she said that it was good to be able to find the familiar in an unfamiliar environment. She spoke about attending the opening of an exhibition in Memmingen, which focused on carnival, and seeing the work of Trinidadian visual artists Marlon Griffith and Barbadian visual artist Ewan Atkinson. Kennedy pointed out that what was interesting about the exhibition is while the theme was carnival, it was looking at both European and Caribbean depictions instead of just focusing on one locale.

In the second half of the evening, the two artists in residence – Toronto-Based, Bajan-Jamaican industrial designer and visual artist Kara Springer and Toronto-based, Trinidadian-Bahamian poet and cultural critic Christian Campbell – presented their work and what they had accomplished during the residency. Kara talked about her project, Repositioned Objects, which involved the building of 4x4x4ft wooden structures that create tension between the controlled and the uncontrollable. Kara, with the assistance of Christian, went around different points of the island installing the cubes and photographing them. In some cases the structures were left overnight, and in others she only had a short time to construct, photograph and break the structures back down again. What she did not expect was to not only have to deal with destructive natural elements, but also with people who went out of their way to destroy her structures. She was forced to then contend with the intersection of creation and destruction; the difficulty of trying to create order in a chaotic environment.

The final address was given by Christian Campbell, who began by speaking a little about the workshop he led titled ‘The Art of the Essay/The Essay on Art’. The workshop focused on ekphrasis, which has traditionally been a creatively written description on a visual work of art, however for the purposes of the workshop the definition was expanded to include any art form responding to another. Christian’s presentation, unlike the others, was really a series of readings. The first was Martin Carter’s Till I Collect to commemorate the 17th anniversary of Martin Carter’s death, which would have been on the second and last day of the critical writing workshops, held on December 13th. He also read Till I Collect because the last two lines of the poem, “till I collect my scattered skeleton/till I collect…” seemed to correlate with Jean Michel Basquiat’s X-Ray-like self portrait. Campbell read what he considered the ‘most important’ thing that he achieved during the residency, an essay on Jean Michel Basquiat, before adding to the selection with three poems from his own collection ‘Running the Dusk’: Goodmans Bay II, Curry Powder and Iguana. The last poem he read was one of his newer pieces, Names.

In his piece on Basquiat, Campbell read that the Haitian-American artist tried to collect everything, “…the way the Caribbean is the cross-cultural crossroads for the whole damn world”. In many ways that represents what art communities such as Fresh Milk, RM and VAN Lagos are and try to be with projects like the Transoceanic Visual Exchange; to create spaces with what is there, so that something new can develop. This makes it possible for artists like Katherine to go to places like Akadamie Schloss Solitude to work with and connect with other artists from all over the world.

After the presentations were over, and the rain that threatened to drown them had petered out, everyone gathered on the veranda to partake in the Christmas Potluck; to create a new space filled with the holiday spirit and hope for the New Year.