This project was conceptualized in 2010 and a trailer for a future exhibition of online work was created. This work however is part of a larger investigation that I hope to pursue in the future.
‘What Next?’ was my response to a call for videos by the Guggenheim museum also entitled ‘What Next?’. The museum in collaboration with ‘You Tube’ claimed to be focusing not on the ‘now’, but on the ‘what next?.’ Their exhibition sought to highlight access, contemporary work, and a rejection of hierarchical structures. However, artists from US sanctioned countries are listed as non-eligible countries.
This future short video will blend experimental techniques with a documentary style, towards a conversation between artists on boundaries, access, territory, identity, artistic censorship, and political barriers. It will be a mixture of artists from Trinidad,Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma, Iran, Jordan,United States, Canada, England, (list is growing) as well as a mixture of artists who reveal their identity and some for their own protection, who will keep their identities concealed. Writers were also welcomed to submit prose or short verse.
This video is in its forming stages and it asks the question’ What Next?’Rather than ask it in a technological or ‘innovation based’ context, it is asking the question with regards to the ever-evolving mediums and contexts within which art itself operates, and the negotiations artists consistently maneuver in relation to politics, to commerce, culture, and censorship.
Fictionally speaking if this video had been produced in time for the ‘What Next?’ public call I sought to ask if the artist’s national identity could be separated from their art. What if their art spoke out against the very institutions or governments that were sanctioned in the first place. Ironically, most of the artists in this video were not allowed to participate, but once the work is presented in this form, and submitted by an eligible artist, then could the work have been considered? After all, it is the work that is the important factor, and therefore, an attempt to censor the artist/country/region will hopefully be compromised by the inclusion of work from that region. This video will blur the boundaries set by the exhibition itself.
As an independent artist working in the Caribbean it was difficult for me to even make contact with artists from such diverse regions- fromIran to Zimbabwe to Syria to North Korea etc. Currently I have confirmed artists from each region except Korea and Sudan.
The video is experimental but it will have a documentary style. It will incorporate pictures, video clips, text (quotes) and audio pieces from artists. Artists who do not know each other but who have a common ground- of speaking out on politics, censorship, access, identity etc, especially in the forum of artists and art being censored by a governing body or institution in any way.
It is meant to be an open dialogue.