‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 1 – Introduction

June 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm (Been there, Exposed) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

De Dragers van het Beeld, in English: The Carriers of the Image, is an art exhibition that was held in the foyer of Theatre Thalia, from April 28 until May 7, 2017. It was part of the celebration of 180 years Theatre Thalia. Eight visual artists worked with the theme of death, and more: resurrection from death, new life …

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi wrote a series of columns that we will be sharing on the SAX-blog. Today part 1. Please find the Dutch text under the English text. 

Dragers van het beeld
17951608_10158518038525494_1839296243347417041_n

A Sparkling New Life

Alakondre [literally meaning: of all countries] is the word that we should use to brand Suriname’, said Alida Neslo. With that statement she found an immediate ally within me. This alliance would be continued, as I became the coordinator for visual arts of a team dedicated to celebrate the 180th anniversary of Theatre Thalia in a fitting way. The celebration of 180 years Thalia should breathe new and sparkling life into the theatre.

The Theme

In many cultures death is seen as the end of one life and the beginning of another new life. As a team dedicated to the celebration of 180 years Thalia, we initially spoke more about death and the way in which different cultures process death. But almost simultaneously, the discussion started to revolve around what happens after death: reincarnation, the afterlife, rebirth, etc. The most dominant question that came up was: How is this interpreted by different people and by different cultures? The theme for the celebration of Thalia 180 years, started to develop from here. Eros, Thanatos and Phoenix were brought forward as points of departure for the theme of the celebration. Eros as life energy, Thanatos as the non-violent peaceful death and the Phoenix as the symbol of eternal life; a cyclical life of passing and rebirth.

Visual Art

The theme was presented to the eight participating visual artists: Razia Barsatie, Anand Binda, Winston van der Bok, Soeki Irodikromo, Sri Irodikromo, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, George Struikelblok and Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi. Each artist was inspired by an entirely different aspect of the theme.

The diverse interpretations of the theme are elaborated upon in various short columns, which will help the public to better understand what the works of art displayed in the celebratory exhibition of Theatre Thalia 180 years are actually about. This visual art exhibition was on display from April 28 until May 7, 2017. In addition to the visual art exhibition there also was a Living Art Show, which was presented within the dance program in the weekend of May 5-7, 2017. It was a collaboration between visual artists and performance artists. The artistic concepts, created by the visual artists, were interpreted and performed by the performance artists. The coordination of the Living Art Show was in the hands of Dweight Warsodikromo.

TEXT Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, 2017

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi is a female visual artist from Suriname. She works and lives in Paramaribo, Suriname, South America. Kit-Ling studied visual art in Suriname and in the Netherlands. In 2005 Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi added the short video-film as a medium to her artwork. Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi makes paintings and drawings, inspired by the tropical rainforest, and the richness of the diverse cultures in Suriname.

Kit-Ling was the featured visual artist at the 13th International Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars. This conference, The Caribbean, the Land and the People; Women’s Efforts, Women’s Lives, was held in Suriname, in May 2012. Kit-Ling was the recipient of the Bridget Jones Award for 2013.

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY Ada Korbee & Marieke Visser, 2017

+++

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / ‘The Carriers of the Image’ – 1 – Introduction

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 2 –  Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 3 –  Winston van der Bok

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 4 –  Razia Barsatie

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 5 –  Soeki Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 6 –  Dhiradj Ramsamoedj

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 7 –  Sri Irodikromo

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 8 – Anand Binda 

‘De Dragers van het Beeld’ / The Carriers of the Image – 9 –  George Struikelblok

+++

Een sprankelend nieuw leven

Alakondre is het woord waarmee we Suriname moeten branden’, zei Alida Neslo en daarmee had ze in mij een bondgenoot gevonden. Dit bondgenootschap zette zich voort door als coördinator van beeldende kunst plaats te nemen in een team dat zich zou inzetten om 180 jaar Theater Thalia op gepaste wijze te vieren. De viering van 180 jaar Thalia moet Thalia weer nieuw en sprankelend leven inblazen.

Het thema

In veel culturen wordt de dood gezien als het einde van een bepaald leven en het begin van een ander nieuw leven. Als team dat zich wilde inzetten voor de viering van 180 jaar Thalia, spraken we eerst meer over de dood en het verwerken van de dood binnen verschillende culturen. Maar bijna simultaan werd er ook gesproken over wat er na de dood gebeurt: de reïncarnatie, het hiernamaals, de wedergeboorte etc. Daarbij werd vooral de vraag gesteld: Hoe wordt dit gezien door verschillende mensen, verschillende culturen? Van daaruit is het thema rond de viering van Thalia 180 jaar zich verder gaan ontwikkelen. Eros, Thanatos en Phoenix (Feniks) werden als uitgangspunten voor het thema binnen de viering van 180 jaar Thalia naar voren geschoven. Eros als levensenergie, Thanatos als de geweldloze zachte dood en de Phoenix als symbool van een eeuwig leven; een cyclisch leven van heengaan en wedergeboorte.

Beeldende kunst

Het thema werd voorgelegd aan de acht (8) deelnemende beeldende kunstenaars, te weten Razia Barsatie, Anand Binda, Winston van der Bok, Soeki Irodikromo, Sri Irodikromo, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, George Struikelblok en Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi. Elke kunstenaar werd geïnspireerd door een geheel andere aspect van het thema.

De diverse interpretaties van het thema zijn in verschillende korte columns uiteen gezet en op deze manier kwam het kunstminnend publiek meer te weten over de inhoud van de kunstwerken die in de feestexpositie van Theater Thalia 180 jaar te zien waren. Deze beeldende kunstexpositie was te zien vanaf 28 april tot en met 7 mei 2017. Naast de beeldende kunstexpositie is er ook een Living Art Show gepresenteerd binnen het dansprogramma in het weekend van 5 tot en met 7 mei 2017. Het betrof een samenwerking tussen beeldende kunstenaars en performance artiesten. De kunstconcepten kwamen van de beeldende kunstenaars, maar werden geïnterpreteerd en uitgevoerd door de performance kunstenaars. De coördinatie van de Living Art Show was in handen van Dweight Warsodikromo.

 

 

Permalink 2 Comments

Moengo Festival of Visual Arts 2015 Tembe fu libi

August 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm (Coming up) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photo collage Moengo Festival of Visual Arts 2015 Tembe fu libi, by Ravi Rajcoomar

Photo collage Moengo Festival of Visual Arts 2015 Tembe fu libi, by Ravi Rajcoomar

Program Moengo Festival of Visual Arts 2015 Tembe fu libi (on Facebook)

Friday, August 14, 10:00 hrs Opening

Saturday, August 15, 10:00-13:00 hrs Seminar
Marcel Pinas – Introduction
Rob Perrée – The power of an artist-in-residence-programme in an environment like Moengo
– Tresna Pinas – About working in a collective (Moengo)
– Alex van Stipriaan – Marroon people and the art of survival

Saturday, August 15, 16:00-18:00 hrs Artist presentations
– Visthois Mwilambwe Bondo
– Artist (U.S.A.)

Sunday, August 16, 10:00-13:00 hrs Seminar
Remy Jungerman (on Facebook) – Own position in the art world
– Mama Bobi (on Facebook) – Applied art in French Guiana
– Sharda Ganga – Art and politics

Sunday, August 16, 16:00-18:00 hrs Artist presentations
– Lode
Ken Doorson

Monday, August 17, 10:00-13:00 hrs Seminar
– Tolin Alexander – The role of art and art education in the forming of identity
– Alida Neslo – Art and the community
– Thomas Polimé – Communication by textile in the Marroon community

Monday, August 17, 16:00-18:00 hrs Artist presentations
Razia Barsatie
Miguel EdKe Keerveld

The seminar will be held at the AMC Congress Centre in Moengo and is open to everyone.

Opening hours exhibition Tembe fu libi August 14-September 20, 10:00-18:00 hrs .

+++

Foundation Kibii warmly invites you to Tembe fu libi (Art for Life), the Visual Arts Festival in Moengo, Suriname. (On Facebook.) Tembe fu libi is the third festival in a series that annually emphasize on a specific discipline. This year, Foundation Kibii will focus on the visual arts and continues with the realization of her philosophy and goals. The festival is aimed at contributing to the development of the local youth and community, economic and touristic growth, and multicultural and interdisciplinary cross-­fertilization.

With 40 artists from home and abroad, including Suriname, Barbados, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States and Congo, and 750 students who have worked in recent weeks on several works of art, MFVA 2015 is the largest art project carried out in Marowijne.

On Friday the 14th of August, the festival will be festively opened with the presentation of a 600 metres long collaborative street painting made by the children of Moengo and the art collective Switi Rauw, that connects the different exhibition spaces: the Tembe Art Studio, a part of the former Suralco hospital, the Contemporary Art Museum of Moengo (CAMM), the Art Park and the Fred Murray School and St. Theresia School. Work of local, national and international artists will be on display. Pangi embroideries will interact with video work and traditional woodcarving with contemporary art installations. The aim of the exhibition is to create space for dialogue between the various artworks made by artists of different cultural, educational and artistic backgrounds.

However, the Moengo Festival of Visual Arts (on Facebook) is more than just a festival. Workshops have become an integral part of the festival and in the sustainable development of Moengo. This year, twelve Surinamese artists have been connected to the children of twelve primary schools to create an artwork that will be presented in the exhibition. When traveling east, the artists were encouraged to share artistic knowledge and skills with local artisans. In addition, there is a comprehensive program of artist talks, screenings, drawing competitions, seminars and performances. The final weekend, from the 18th until the 20th of September will celebrate a three-day closing ceremony that will include musical performances and a pooloboto show.

Tembe fu libi is curated by Rob Perrée and Remy Jungerman.

Amongst the exhibited artists André Sontosoemarto, Augusta Pinas, Awini Dimpay, Burospelen (Bart Stuart en Klaar van der Lippe), Charl Landvreugd, Dakaya Lenz, Danasion Akobe, David Linga, Evert Hunswijk, Florens Voorburg, Hercules Pinas, Hesdy Metowirijo, Iris Kensmil, Jakup Ferri, Jasmin Werner, Ken Doorson, Kenneth Flijders, Kevin Headley (Switi Rauw (on Facebook)), Klaas Burger, Koen Van Mechelen, Kurt Nahar, Lolita Bron, Lode Demey, Mama Bobi (on Facebook), Mario Lewanie, Mavis Pinas, Miguel EdKe Keerveld, Purcy Tjin, Ras2, Ravi Rajcoomar, Razia Barsatie, Remond Mangoensemito, Remy Jungerman (on Facebook), René Tosari, Robbert Enfield, Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, Ruben La Cruz & Karolien Helweg, Rudi Pinas aka Pontel, Shaundell Horton, Sheena Rose, Steve Banks, Steven Jouwersma, Sunil Puljun, Terry Rathje, Tirzo Martha, Tresna Pinas, Van Brummelen & de Haan, Visthois Mwilambwe Bondo, Wouter Klein Velderman and Yubi Kirindongo.

For more information please contact Foundation Kibii on ++ 597 520 311 or by e-mailing moengofestival@kibiifoundation.org.

Banner Moengo Festival by Ravi Rajcoomar

Banner Moengo Festival by Ravi Rajcoomar

Interested in everything that happens in Moengo? Read Tembe Tori.

Download your free back issues here:

Tembe Tori 9

Tembe Tori 10

More about many of the participating artists can be found on Africanah.org and the SAX Sranan Art Xposed platform.

WEBLOG https://srananart.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/pages/SAXSranan-Art-Xposed/121474048032615

FOTO’S www.flickr.com/photos/srananart/

VIDEO’S http://vimeo.com/user6622619

INSTAGRAM http://instagram.com/srananart

TWITTER http://twitter.com/srananart

REACTIES srananart@gmail.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Reducing the distance – Razia Barsatie

February 17, 2015 at 3:44 pm (A Close Look) (, , , , )

On October 1st Razia Barsatie started her period as artist in residence at Tembe Art Studio (TAS) in Moengo. The relationship between the artist and Moengo however, had started much earlier. Razia was a student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands from 2008 until 2012. At that that time, while doing an internship in Suriname, she already visited Tembe Art Studio. Her colleague Ravi Rajcoomar was then the artist in residence there.

Invitation for unveiling installation by Razia Barsatie

Invitation for unveiling installation by Razia Barsatie

Since her return to Suriname, now a little over two years ago, Razia has made the trip to this former mining town in the district of Marowijne, many times. She also helped there during the Moengo Festival of Theater & Dance in September 2014, and she is already part of the team working on the preparations for the Moengo Visual Arts Festival of 2015. “I just love driving to Moengo. I often do so alone. Then I simply enjoy the surroundings and the rest and the opportunity to just think about all kinds of things.” That others often ask if she isn’t afraid to go to Moengo and especially to make the drive all by herself – which incidentally she is not at all – has put her to thinking. “People know so little about Moengo. What they do know, is what they see in the press, and that is often only the negative news. But there is so much that is positive. But the distance is an obstacle. Because of that the negative seems closer and the positive is kept at a distance. That is unfortunate.”

A sketch for the installation / PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2014

A sketch for the installation / PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2014

When the opportunity for her own artist in residence period came along, Razia knew immediately that this would be her subject for the artwork she would leave behind in Moengo. That artwork does not stand there yet. The concept is ready, the choice of materials is for the main part complete, but there are some questions still surrounding the execution. It is after all not a simple object. The art installation that Razia will leave behind in the art park at Moengo is a very large telescope. And preferably one that really works. The telescope will stand there as a symbol of reducing the distance; of bringing the positive closer. The positive side of Moengo should be clearly visible for anyone daring to take a closer look. Distance should not be an obstacle when you want to discover something new.

According to the original concept, the four meter long telescope will be positioned on top of a hill in Moengo, directed towards a beautiful spot or object in the area. The telescope will be ‘carried’ by two human figures covered on the outside with bauxite stones from the area. That the telescope will come, that is certain. Whether it is an actual magnifying telescope depends on the results of Razia’s search for the appropriate telescopic glass. And where exactly it will stand, and whether it will be on a hill, is something that will be determined very soon. “For now there is still a  plan A, a plan B, etc, etc …”, says the artist. “Because if you have an idea, you should just go for it. Eventually you will find a solution for everything. Where that is concerned I always keep a few alternatives in mind”.

This way of thinking is something that Razia has taken with her from her studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. “There they put great emphasis on the conceptual. You learn that the idea, the concept, is very important, and not so much the execution”. Razia is indeed very much focused on the conceptual when it comes to her art. She specialized in video art at the Rietveld academy, but she is also very interested in installation art. Regardless of the medium that she chooses however, it is always the concept that takes precedence in her work. That was already clearly visible at her first solo exhibition in Suriname called Anxious, where in addition to video animations, she also showed a wrought iron installation. It is also clear in more recent projects (in French Guyana and at Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis of the SAB for example) where she incorporated aromatic spices in her art. The addition of scent makes a much broader sensory experience of the artwork and this is something that Razia intends to experiment with further.

An installation with fresh peppers, made by Razia Barsatie in French Guyana during an Inter Guyanese Cultural festival. “What was important to me: the scent of pepper coming from the installation. The scent was actually the work of art; the patterns were just presentation.” / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

An installation with fresh peppers, made by Razia Barsatie in French Guyana during an Inter Guyanese Cultural festival. “What was important to me: the scent of pepper coming from the installation. The scent was actually the work of art; the
patterns were just presentation.” / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

An installation with fresh peppers, made by Razia Barsatie in French Guyana during an Inter Guyanese Cultural festival. “What was important to me: the scent of pepper coming from the installation. The scent was actually the work of art; the patterns were just presentation.” / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

An installation with fresh peppers, made by Razia Barsatie in French Guyana during an Inter Guyanese Cultural festival. “What was important to me: the scent of pepper coming from the installation. The scent was actually the work of art; the
patterns were just presentation.” / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from
Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during
the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from
Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during
the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from
Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during
the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from
Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during
the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Old rum barrels from
Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB), decorated with spices by Razia Barsatie during
the first Museum Night in Suriname, in Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis (Facebook) on May 18, 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Razia has also introduced an interesting concept during the art lessons that she gives to the children in Moengo and surroundings as part of her residency. Instead of the standard drawing lessons, she makes short animation films with the children using drawings that they have made. In the films the children act out their own stories, visually as well as vocally. The concept was received with much enthusiasm by the kids. They start with a full-color drawing of a favorite place from their own surroundings, followed by a drawing of themselves. The latter is then cut out and glued to a pencil so that the figures can then be moved against the background of the first drawing. The children are divided in groups and together they make up a story which they play out and which is then filmed by Razia. The creativity of the children is thus stimulated on different levels and they learn to work together effectively. “The children really enjoy doing this. Sometimes they don’t even want to go home.” Razia hopes to also present the results of this project at the upcoming Moengo Visual Arts Festival in 2015.

4eb62fd243f8e152197d205de4f2acea

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

f536efcb12d4c567aad611f908fb179f

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

The children in Moengo working on the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

A still from the animation film project / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie, 2014

Video production Moengo 1, by Razia Barsatie
Video production Moengo 2, by Razia Barsatie

Sometime in January the artwork of Razia Barsatie will proudly stand on the spot that the artist has ultimately chosen for it. People from Moengo, young and old, visitors, and others from the surroundings, will curiously look through the glass of the telescope to see what it is that Razia wants them to see. It will surely be something special. Because if you dare to take a good look, and don’t get scared away by distances, there is a lot that is worth discovering, and certainly in Moengo. Good luck Razia!

Razia’s wire sculptures, during the Open Day at Prakwaki on 19 January 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

Razia’s wire sculptures, during the Open Day at Prakwaki on 19 January 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

prak 2

Razia’s wire sculptures, during the Open Day at Prakwaki on 19 January 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

prak 3

Razia’s wire sculptures, during the Open Day at Prakwaki on 19 January 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

prak 4

Razia’s wire sculptures, during the Open Day at Prakwaki on 19 January 2014 / PHOTO Courtesy Razia Barsatie

 

TEXT Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld

Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld is a freelance writer. Aside from her work for Sranan Art Xposed, she writes primarily for the Readytex Art Gallery in Paramaribo, Suriname. She writes press releases, website texts and takes care of the publicity materials surrounding the exhibitions and other activities of the gallery.

On the Sranan Art Flickr-page please find an album with photos by Peter Thielen and Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld of the presentation of Razia Barsatie‘s installationSan e soi faawe e kon koosube’ (‘Iets wat ver lijkt is eigenlijk dichtbij’ or ‘Something that seems far away is actually nearby’) on February 15, 2015, in Moengo, Marowijne district, Suriname.

A video registration from the unveiling of Razia Barsatie’s installation, February 15, 2015, by Peter Thielen: Razia Barsatie – ‘San e soi faawe e kon koosube’, Moengo, Marowijne, Suriname

Permalink Leave a Comment

Razia Barsatie presents: ‘Anxious’

April 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

From March 20th thru 24th, Razia Barsatie presents her first solo-exhibition Anxious in three separate spaces at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. Her invitation announces it as an exhibition of Video Art and Installation and as I am not yet very familiar with her work I am curious about that which she is about to present.

As I walk up to the exhibition space on the last Sunday of its opening, I am initially surprised by the closed off, dark and deserted look I am confronted with as I approach the front of the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. Am I too late? Is there anybody here? Should I start getting …uhm…anxious?? But the exhibition flyer stuck to the front door confirms that it is still a few hours until the exhibition is about to close. And then I also remember that Razia who often works with video is doing so again for this exhibition, and would most likely have to keep doors and windows closed to get the desired effect.  Walking around the porch towards the back of the building, I see the first signs of life.  Razia Barsatie and fellow artist Ravi Radjcoomar are talking near the place where guests enter and come upon the first part of Razia’s exhibition. The young artist welcomes me to her show and since I am at that time the only guest, I get treated to a personal tour. She shows her work in three different spaces  of the academy and I marvel at how she has managed create an entirely different look and feel to this space that I am otherwise so familiar with. The title of her exhibition becomes doubly significant to me…’Anxious’…. I can easily imagine myself, or other visitors, getting slightly anxious indeed, had I or they, been walking through the presentation all alone.

And that’s basically what Anxious is all about. All those little or large anxieties, whether self-imposed or not, that we as human beings deal with on a day to day basis. First Razia takes me to the old (though recently renovated) ‘kookhuis’ [cooking house] adjacent to the art academy. In it I am surprised to find an installation that takes up the entire space.  Called Trapped, it consists of a series of wrought iron doors set in iron frames, each incorporating another decorative design inspired by familiar things around the house.

Razia Barsatie, Trapped, 2013/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld 2013

Razia Barsatie, Trapped, 2013/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld 2013

Razia Barsatie, detail of Trapped, 2013/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld 2013

Razia Barsatie, detail of Trapped, 2013/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld 2013

The sparse, yet deliberate lighting in the space is directed towards the work in such a way that the installation is continued in the interesting shadows that are cast upon the walls. It is not difficult, especially considering the title of her exhibition, what Razia is getting at with this installation. Although most of us in Suriname have become desensitized to the ever-present iron bars on the windows, doors and balconies of homes throughout our country, many an outsider finds this a disturbing, if not downright ugly sight. “After having lived in Holland for a few years (Razia has just returned to Suriname this past November after studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands for four years) I was once again struck by all the ironwork on the windows and doors in Suriname. People feel threatened by the high rate of burglaries and add the ironwork in the hope that it will make them feel more safe in their own home. But the sad thing is, that despite it all, many people still live in a state of constant fear, or anxiety.” She leaves the doors of the pieces in her installation open to symbolize that we should not shut ourselves off completely. We should not allow our anxieties to go too far. We should remain open to some extent, feeling free at least in our minds.

Next the artist takes me to the darkened main hall of the Nola Hatterman Art Academy, in which a fascinating video installation of neon lights and shadows is projected on one of the walls. The center stage is a simple white chair placed in the middle of the room, on which a projector is beaming a moving and constantly changing play of neon lights and illustrations on and around the contours of the chair, which becomes an elaborate lighted animation on the wall behind it. For example, what looks like rope of bright white light slowly coils itself around the legs of the chair and off again, an animated figure walks towards and climbs upon it, butterflies flutter all around, while all the time bright colors light up the contours. The illustrations develop in tune with the rhythmic music that fills the space and the whole is to me almost like a hip psychedelic choreography of light, sound and constant motion. It is without a doubt captivating. Again, Razia uses simple everyday objects  -in this case the plastic chair- to play on the subject of anxiety, this time reflecting how she -or anybody else for that matter- uses her imagination to free herself from her own anxieties. Watch a video recording of the installation here

Razia Barsatie, Video Installation of chair (snapshot) 2013/ PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2013

Razia Barsatie, Video Installation of chair (snapshot) 2013/ PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2013

Last but not least, we head back outside, where she has erected a large projection screen in the garden on which yet another animation plays. It is already nighttime, so the big white screen lights up the dark garden and I am glad I choose this time to visit the exhibition, as I am sure the effect is not quite as good in daylight. Images in this animation jump from one subject to the next, varying from a little kid’s anxieties regarding potty training, a mother comforting a child, people whispering in each other’s ear and not being sure whether they can trust what the other is saying, to an animation about mehendi patterns (traditional henna tattoo like art applied mostly to hands and feet of women from certain cultures in the Middle East, India and Africa), symbolizing the cultural significance and rules related to this tradition. Some animations take shape gradually, as though they are drawn directly onto the screen, and just as in the previous installation with the chair, there is also sound and music to accompany the images that keep changing continuously.

Razia Barsatie, Outdoor Installation at exhibition Anxious 2013 (snapshot)/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2013

Razia Barsatie, Outdoor Installation at exhibition Anxious 2013 (snapshot)/ PHOTO Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2013

The work that Razia makes is highly conceptual and obviously for the most part not sellable art, but this is not an issue the artist is concerned with at this time. “I have my job as a teacher here at the academy and with my art I just do what I enjoy doing. I want to show people, especially young artists that there are other things that you can do as an artist, aside from painting or sculpting.” Since her return from the Rietveld Academie and starting her work at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy, Razia has also started another initiative called Nola reunion. The reunions are open to all students, current and previous, from the academy and are meant start discussions about specific works of art. With this initiative she hopes to inspire open, critical dialogues and conversations amongst artists about their work. Artists are encouraged to explain their work and motivate their choices, and to challenge those of others in a healthy, productive style and setting. She does the same with her students at the academy where she teaches art communication, a subject that I believe is of significant importance in this global community we are a part of today. Artists need to be able to present themselves and their work in a professional and confident manner if they want their careers to progress on an international level, and this is something Razia emphasizes in her classes.

Razia Barsatie at her exhibition Anxious, 2013/ PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2013

Razia Barsatie at her exhibition Anxious, 2013/ PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2013

Although video art is not new in Suriname -several artists, such as Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, Marcel Pinas and others also incorporate film and video in their work-, the animated productions in Anxious, present a different take on the art of video projection and on the endless possibilities that this medium offers to the artist who is willing to explore it further.

Below a translation of the text that Razia included on her invitation, which basically sums up the essence of the work she presents in Anxious:

”We are all bound by something that restricts or blocks us.
The cause of these restrictions or blockages is fear.
Fear to live. Fear to love.
Fear to come up for yourself. Fear to be yourself.
Who or what is it that makes us afraid?
And why do we hold ourselves captivated by our own fear?”

(This text on the invitation was written by Nancy de Randamie for Razia Barsatie)

 

TEXT Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld

Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld is a freelance writer.  Aside from her work for Sranan Art Xposed, she writes primarily for the Readytex Art Gallery http://www.readytexartgallery.com in Paramaribo, Suriname. She writes press releases, website texts and takes care of the publicity materials surrounding the exhibitions and other activities of the gallery.

Permalink 1 Comment

Coming up – Video Art in Paramaribo!

April 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm (Coming up) (, , , , , , , , )

Just one day … Friday, April 29 2011, try to be there, between 19:30-22:00 hrs, on the Ultima parking lot, Keizerstraat, Paramaribo, Suriname. What will you see? Video art, a new art form for Suriname,  with video art by Razia Barzatie, Ravi Rajcoomar and Marcel Pinas.

Invitation Video Art Razia Barzatie, Ravi Rajcoomar & Marcel Pinas

A very good article (in Dutch) by Bonnie van Leeuwaarde about Razia Barsatie can be found on the website of de Ware Tijd, you have to log in, which takes only a few seconds and makes all Suriname’s newsworthy facts available.

Front Flyer Night of the Animation

Back Flyer Night of the Animation

Barsatie has studied at the Rietveld Academie in The Netherlands and is currently doing her apprenticeship at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. She has worked with students to make animated videos. Se her (Dutch) blog with lots of great impressions. The results of the workshop will be presented at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy next to Fort Zeelandia, Paramaribo, Suriname, Thursday, Apri 28 2011, 19:00 hrs.

”]Afterwards the videos will be screened from April 29 until May 1 2011 on billboards located at Spanhoek, Hermittage, Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat, ’t Vat, Zanderij, Frederik Derbystraat en Fernandes Electronica Klipstenenstraat. For more information send Razia Barsatie an email dhoei_08@hotmail.com

If you’re on Facebook, please find the event here 

Permalink 1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: