Pictures from Paradise opens at the 2014 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival with an exuberant launch and a well-attended artists’ talk at the Gladstone Hotel.
Pictures from Paradise features the work of 18 artists from seven Caribbean countries who vary in the ways in which they frame, stage, manipulate, use, and reuse images. Based on the 2012 book of the same name by Robert & Christopher Publishers, the exhibition is structured by four photographic genres: “The Documentary Image” celebrates the interrogative attitude of photographs; “Portraiture” challenges our understanding of the emotive subject; “Transformed Media” hails digital processes; and “Tableau Vivant” depicts constructed scenarios.
The works were presented within four adjoining shipping containers alongside Lake Ontario, inviting contemplation about issues of consumerism, globalization, tourism, migration, and the ever-present legacy of slavery in Caribbean history. Placing the works outside of the typical exhibition space of a gallery also signals a different type of storytelling, one that responds to, and moves beyond the limited narratives around a Caribbean “paradise.” It explores Caribbean identity in a way that addresses the important question posed by Stuart Hall, the celebrated Jamaican/British cultural theorist: “If you are not that, who are you?”
Organized with Wedge Curatorial Projects
Presented in partnership with Robert & Christopher Publishers and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.
Supported by Canada Council of the Arts, the Ministry of Tourism, Trinidad & Tobago and Giant Container Services.
Curated by Melanie Archer, Mariel Brown and Kenneth Montague
Designed by Richard Mark Rawlins