Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NO BLACK in the UNION JACK

Trinidad-born, Japan-based visual artist Marlon Griffith presents No Black in the Union Jack, a performance inspired by the 2011 London summer riots. This project  was presented as part of Up Hill Down hall: An indoor Carnival for the BMW TATE LIVE 2014 series. In this piece, Griffith fuses the nationalistic Caribbean motif of the humming bird with anti-riot police shields in body adornments that blur the boundaries between masquerader and police officer. Also a trained masman – the Trinidadian colloquial for Carnival designer – Marlon Griffith has a longstanding experience in creating carnival performances both for the Trinidad and Notting Hill carnivals. Griffith is collaborating with Elimu Paddington Arts Mas Band for which he designed two carnival bands in the past.

Inspired by extensive student research into the socio-political history of the Notting Hill Carnival and the politics of space and location.


Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival is curated by Claire Tancons in discussion with Tate Modern’s curatorial team and in collaboration with the artists in the project with support by students and recent graduates from BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, UAL: University of the Arts London, along with members from the Notting Hill Carnival Community including participants and volunteers from Elimu Paddington Arts Mas Band and Batala Samba-Reggae percussion band.









                                           photos by Akiko Ota

Thursday, April 3, 2014

                                       
Positions + Power is an intervention in the space of carnival that uses the body as a primary medium, stripping mas’ of its decorative elements while maintaining a balance between the material and the immaterial. Through the positions of and interactions between the masqueraders and an ominous mobile surveillance tower, reminiscent of police booths omnipresent at carnival time, Positions + Power points to power relations in public space between the state and civil society. Positions + Power also makes visible processes of negotiation of class and ethnicity through body make-up inspired by the local fashion of chest powdering.
En Mas’: Carnival 21st Century Style is the first major scholarly curatorial project to account for the influence of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in and of the Caribbean, North America, and Europe.” En Mas’ charts an alternative path for performance art in the steps of Carnival and other festivals in the Caribbean and its diasporas.

En Mas’: Carnival 21st Century Style is curated by Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson and co-organized by Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans (CAC) and Independent Curators International (ICI). It is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award with additional support provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts


                                                        photo by Kerhann Jones




                                         photos by Marlon James

                                          photo by Arnaldo James







Sunday, August 25, 2013

SONG OF THE SUN






















                                              Marlon Griffith 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Ballad of Francisco Bobadilla


The Ballad of Francisco Bobadilla
An installation by Marlon Griffith

The ship Francisco Bobadilla from V.S. Naipaul’s 1962 travel narrative is used as a reference to explore the critical role that  negotiations for  room, personal space, access and lack there of play in the development of this society.

As Trinidad and Tobago develops, many communities remain distant from what is considered progress. Griffith’s installation engages the positions, aspirations and stories of people in these communities and their challenges of learning to be comfortable in an uncomfortable place.

This project is in collaboration with Alice Yard. Marlon Griffith is supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, which has been granted by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.







Sunday, May 20, 2012