A lot of discussion has been going on during the conversations at Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event. Is there too much focus on the cultural part of this exhibition? Does the audience realize that the artistic value of Kibii Wi Koni is tremendous? That Pinas’ work can be shown at any Biennale and would then be highly appreciated by an international audience of art lovers?
From the book Wakaman Drawing Lines – Connecting Dots, Contemporary Art, Suriname (Amsterdam, 2009) an excerpt in which the artist him self tells what he thinks about art and how he sees himself as an artist.
“I don’t want to be a Picasso or Mondriaan. I AM MARCEL PINAS. I have to stand out from other artists.” The theme Marcel Pinas (1971) has chosen for his art is the Maroon culture from which he stems. ‘Kibri a kulturu’ or ‘preserve our culture’ is the motto that drives him and two years, 2007 and 2008, at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands have not changed this; although a new, more universal dimension has been added. “The new works are about the pollution in the world that confronts us every day. The mercury contamination in Suriname, the plunder of raw materials with no advantage to local communities … This also happens in the Congo, Nigeria and Latin America. It is a world problem.”
In a mail Marcel tells the Wakamans how he views art:
For me art is:
1. A way to communicate with people.
2. An outlet for the community.
3. A means to open certain situations to discussion.
4. Art is like bread.
5. Art must not only be housed in museums for the rich, but also for the poor. This is one of the reasons I have switched from making paintings to installations in public spaces.
6. Art can be used to change a community. I am convinced of this.
This is what I think and have experienced.
Marcel Pinas Amsterdam, 2008
(Translation: Jane Hall, 2008)