Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event continues in Moengo’s brandnew museum: CAMM (Contemporary Art Museum Moengo)
Starting from July 30th Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Eventis continued in Moengo. On this day a new exhibition will open in the old hall of the EBS at the Abraham Crijnssenlaan. Here the same installations that Marcel Pinas exhibited in the KKF in Paramaribo in June will once again be displayed. With this exhibition yet another of Marcel Pinas’ dreams is fulfilled. The work Pinas has previously exhibited in other countries around the world has at last been presented in Paramaribo and now finally also in the district of Marowijne, the place and the source of inspiration that is of the most critical influence to the work of this artist.
But the opening of this third exhibition within the Kibii Wi Koni Event has a larger, more significant meaning, one that far exceeds the activities surrounding this Event. In Marcel Pinas’ dreams Marowijne is to become THE art district of Suriname. An art district which includes an art park, a cultural center, educational center and also a museum. With the help of his Kibii Foundation Marcel Pinas has been working on the realization of his ideals for a few years now. The Tembe Art Studio (TAS) in Moengo has been the hub of numerous educational art and culture activities for already over a year. Together with several local and international artists who join TAS as artists in residence and leave behind large art installations in Moengo’s public space, the art park as well, is steadily taking shape. And now, thanks to the great support of the EBS and the Suralco, Marcel Pinas has been given the opportunity to transform, rename and reopen the old hall of the EBS in Moengo on July 30th as CAMM-Contemporary Art Museum Moengo.
The work of Pinas is only the first art exhibition to take place in CAMM. The many art installations of Marcel Pinas that filled the KKF in June will come across in a whole new way in this surprising and different space. One could easily presume that the work and the message of Marcel Pinas have now, in essence, finally come home. In the future the Museum will host contemporary art exhibitions from other local as well as international artists.
On Saturday July 30th the official opening of CAMM will take place. The program starts at 16:00 hrs with the unveiling of the plaque of the Marowijne Art Park at Tembe Art Studio. Under the accompaniment of a Brass band and Majorettes the guests will gradually make their way from TAS, past the works of art from previous artists in residence Jhunry Udenhout and Charl Landvreugd, to the museum. Following several speeches and presentations, the official opening ceremony and the unveiling of the nameplate of CAMM will commence around 17:20 hrs. Once the guests have toured and enjoyed the exhibition, the evening will be continued in a festive manner with cultural and musical performances.
The exhibition of Marcel Pinas will be on display in CAMM until October 30th. The exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00-13:00 hrs and 16:00-19:00 hrs. The exhibition can be visited on other days and times by appointment. Appointments can be arranged by Phone on the number 0894 5911.
After Moengo part of the exhibition will be transferred to French Guiana.
Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event was made possible by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
CAMM has been made possible in part thanks to the EBS and the Suralco.
“]Waidi Sontowidjojo is generally known by his first name only, just “Waidi”. This man of Javanese origin has been active as an artist for over forty years. He is highly commended for his passionate and expressive wood sculptures.
Waidi’s personality is characterized by his constant creative ambition and his perseverance. Although to him Javanese is practically the only available means of communication, he has never considered that an impediment to develop his artistic qualities at a national and international level. This has earned him a place of honor in the Surinamese world of art.
Quite a few times he participated successfully in the Nationale Kunstbeurs (NK). He has also exhibited his art abroad. Not only in the region, in countries such as French Guiana, Barbados and Guyana, but also in Indonesia, the homeland of his ancestors. Waidi’s scope of interest is not restricted to creative arts. In the past he has also used his creative talent to teach the art of flower arrangements. Furthermore he has been an energetic advocate of other forms of cultural expression, such as dance and music. In 1990 he was an active participant in the festivities held in Sana Budaya, the Javanese cultural center inParamaribo, to commemorate the centenary of Javanese immigration
From: Visser, Marieke, Talent. Uit de kunstcollectie van de Centrale Bank van Suriname, Paramaribo (Centrale Bank van Suriname) 2007
On a personal note: One of my favorite pieces of art is a sculpture by Waidi. It belonged to my mother in law, Corry Hermelijn. From the first day I was welcomed in her home I noticed this somewhat sad wooden figure. At first I couldn’t really appreciate it. I was very young, perhaps too young to understand the burdens life sometimes puts on our shoulders. My mother in law lovingly put her hand on the sculpture’s head, each time she passed it. “My Waidi” she called it, and “My Waidi” went with her everywhere she went. It was only after her death that I came to understand that Waidi was the name of the artist. We inherited the piece, and now it has a place in my home, and I too touch that sad head when passing, caressing it. And I too call it “My Waidi”, and feel how strong the sculpture is. We can bear a lot more than we think. “Nobody said life would be easy”, is an often heard remark. No, and nobody knew that there’s something inside of us, so strong, so strong. Still standing, “My Waidi”. Still standing …
By Marieke Visser, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 17:00pm, the exhibition Agnosia opens in CBK Zuidoost, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Agnosia is a group exhibition by Black Dutch artists. The guest curator is visual artist Charl Landvreugd.
With Agnosia Charl Landvreugd explores different expressions of the image language of black Dutch artists. For this group exhibition Landvreugd selected artists who were born and/or grew up in The Netherlands. He wants to show how their position as Black European is visible in their work.
Agnosia is the incapacity to recognize something which is observed with the senses. The term gets its significance with the questions which Landvreugd brings up: Are extra signs and symbolism in the image language of the artist understood by the viewer/critic? And, are they meant to be understood?
Landvreugd shows his exploration of the Black Dutch artist landscape by means of a sculpture of Felix the Rooij, drawings of Avantia Damberg and Faranú, paintings of Patrick de Vries, a mural by Tiquestar Illuminat Rex, ceramics by Brian Coutinho and a performance of Rose Manuel.
Until September 24, 2011-07-13
September 22, 2011, 17:00pm – Kunstcafé: with guest curator Charl Landvreugd, Egbert Alejandro Martina and the participating visual artists.
Venue: Centrum Beeldende Kunst Zuidoost, Anton de Komplein 120, 1102 DR Amsterdam, The Netherlands
t. 020 25 25 401 / f. 020 25 25 409 / e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 11:00-17:00 hrs / Thu 11:00-20:00 hrs / Sat 10:00-17:00 hrs
In between the installations, the wall sculptures and the video works – the overview exhibition that Marcel Pinas recently presented in the KKF – hang two enormous paintings. Six by one and a half meters. It is as though they are a colorful and lively announcement of the exhibition of paintings which was later held in De Hal. They are more than that. They are proof of the fact that even on a flat surface he succeeds in creating space, in giving cultural elements and symbols movement within that space.
In the latter part of the nineties Marcel Pinas (1971) is already a successful artist who effortlessly finds a public for his drawings and watercolors, when he decides to go a totally different route. As a result of the war in the interior in the eighties, the culture of his birthplace, the district of Marowijne, has been largely destroyed. He considers it his task to give this culture new life through his art. He chooses the Afaka-script, which originated in his region in the beginning of the twentieth century, as a sort of jumping off point for this renaissance. As a contemporary artist he realizes that it is useless to try to simply resurrect that which has been lost. That does not work. He searches for means and opportunities to forge connections between past and present, local and national, national and international. In the large exhibition in the grand space of the KKF he presents the astounding and sometimes overwhelming proof of how this can be done.
In a number of installations that fall somewhere in between an installation and a wall sculpture his memories are given an almost literal shape. In ‘Oso Fesi’ for example he places traditional, richly decorated facades of maroon houses against the wall. He uses several (domestic) objects as a manifestation of symbols from the life in front of and behind those fronts. ‘Kukuu’ shows the cooking utensils of the maroon woman. Neatly installed in an open wooden cupboard, as a direct symbol of pride and hospitality. By placing these objects in a museum-like context, a context which incidentally they do not really belong in, he not only calls attention to them, but also raises a number of questions with them. Amazement, surprise and confusion struggle for precedence.
In other installations he gives all the space to one single symbol. ‘Sanfika’ is a simple yet striking example thereof. Several thousands of spoons hang suspended and move with every little breeze. The sound that they make intrigues and is cheerful. Each spoon is engraved with an Afaka-sign. How playful yet at the same time serious can you give expression to communication?
Namely because of malicious or rather careless water pollution, the destruction of the maroon culture – and sometimes literally the maroon – still goes on. Because this problem is of an international nature, Pinas chooses forms of expression that speak to an international public. It is most noticeable in the installation ‘A Libi’. Against a background of characteristic, wooden maroon decorations he fills the floor, as though haphazardly, with skulls and alarm clocks. In case the message gets lost regardless, then the persistent ticking and ringing of the alarm clocks will ensure that the viewer is kept alert and that the urgency of the message does not escape him.
Beautiful memories, endangered culture and emotionally charged history find each other in ‘Kibii wi koni’. Upon closer inspection an apparently black back wall seems to be composed of hundreds of hanging, slightly moving human figures. White characters upon a sort of blackboard appear from behind as a faint glimmer. Slaves victimized, but against the background of a stable, wise culture. In front of this, hundreds of bottles wrapped in colorful pangi cloths. Traditional wisdom in a protective encasement, but also symbols of optimism. Despite the threats the culture must live on, the culture does live on.
In a number of works the ideas of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol are brought to life in a new way. ‘Pe We Go’ is in fact made by children from Moengo. They were given new shoes in exchange for their old and worn pairs. The artist has simply thrown them together on a heap, registered the action and placed a few of the shoes invitingly on the foreground. He does not claim authorship.
It is remarkable how Marcel Pinas succeeds in putting across his ‘story’. This is not just because of the striking symbolism, but particularly because of the way in which he makes use of space. It is almost impossible to only look at his work, he makes sure that you experience it, that it is as though you can feel it all around you, that it is almost impossible to get away from it all. That would seem a great deal more difficult to achieve with paintings. Still the exhibition in De Hal in Paramaribo proofs that even in his paintings, he is consciously on the lookout for space.
This exhibition is less heavy, because for his paintings Pinas seems to prefer taking his inspiration from memories that are, and make, more cheerful. The hopscotch-cross is representative of childhood games he used to play, the decorative canoe tips of the adventurous journeys he took, the childishly drawn child figure of the general carefree nature that must have characterized his youth. This carefree nature is reinforced by the bright, contrasting colors on his canvases. On the other hand, these works are also an implicit attempt to keep an endangered culture alive. The Afaka-script reappears in many variations and many colors, sometimes as signs and sometimes as words, traditional decorations fill the playing field of the hopscotch game, the totems are an undeniable visual element in many of the compositions, pangi cloths serve as a canvas in several pieces.
By combining a rigid, clean lined way of painting with one more expressionistic, by consciously spilling drops of paint, by placing visual elements on a monochromatic background and by painting them rather one over the other instead of one next to the other, like a collage, he escapes the risk of the painted anecdote and he creates depth, space. Many of his paintings resemble a play in which the symbols function as gesticulating actors. Because of his enormous production – the De Hal shows only a fraction – he does take the risk of becoming repetitive. Especially his smaller paintings are at risk of becoming ‘just pictures’ of which it is hard to see beyond the mere decorative nature.
Both exhibitions can be seen as convincing proof of the authentic artistry of Marcel Pinas, his largest installation being his Moengo-project. That is where he truly puts his engagement into practice. That is where he offers maroon youths the facilities to express and develop their creative qualities. That is where he gives them pride and self-confidence by exposing their talents. That is where he proves that his artistry has hardly any boundaries. It is especially there that he shows that he is truly unique and that he has developed himself into the most important artist of Suriname.
At the opening of the exhibition of paintings by Marcel Pinas, written by Rob Perrée, Paramaribo/Amsterdam, June 2011
(Rob Perrée is art historian, freelance writer and exhibition maker, editor of ‘Kunstbeeld’. Perrée also contributed to the book ‘Marcel Pinas. Artist, more than an artist’. He alternately lives and works in Amsterdam and Brooklyn. Within the framework of Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event, Rob Perrée was in Suriname to, among other things, give a short workshop on ‘Critical writing about visual art’.)
Translation from Dutch to English: Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2011