Robert & Christopher publishers is delighted to announce the upcoming release of our latest title, See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean.
The The Trinidad and Tobago launch will take place in partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest and Medulla Art Gallery, April 24th, 2014.
In Jamaican patois, the expression, “See Me Here” (See Mi ‘Ere!) is an instruction used to call attention to the speaker – whether for his or her physical appearance, or to note the occurrence of a significant moment in that person’s life – an arrival, so to speak. In a similar way, the book, See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean, calls attention to recent directions in self-portraiture throughout the region, by focusing on artists who frequently or significantly use their physical selves, or those to whom they are linked by blood or significant experience, as an avenue for exploration and expression. In so doing, the book asks: How do we really see ourselves? How accurate is the image we present? What formative roles do our cultures and upbringings play? And, what role does the Caribbean as a physical and mental space have in the creation and perception of our own personal, visual identities?
One of the most common understandings of the self-portrait is that it reveals something of an artist’s inner feelings or personality. While this is one focus of See Me Here, the book also examines how, by using their own likenesses, certain artists are speaking to potentially complex, multilayered matters – identity, history, race, gender, sexuality, politics – thus defining themselves within their given contexts and through vastly varied experiences.
Although See Me Here presents individually distinct projects, the works are inevitably interconnected through similar themes. By dealing with self as a starting and/or ending point, the book covers a broad range of media and representations that the artists here explore in order to question and articulate what defines them within a contemporary Caribbean existence.