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'Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, contemporary art from the Caribbean' opens at KadE, Kunsthal Amersfoort
Marvin Bartley, 'The Great Rape', 2011, photo, 51 x 94cm. Courtesy: the artist.
AMERSFOORT.- Kunsthal KAdE opened an exhibition entitled ‘Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, contemporary art from the Caribbean’. The exhibition is guest curated by Nancy Hoffmann. ‘Who More Sci-Fi Than Us’ features work by a representative selection of contemporary artists from all over the Caribbean, from south (Antilles and Surinam) to north (Cuba and Jamaica) and from west (Costa Rica and Panama) to east (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and every island in between.

Nancy Hoffmann: 'This exhibition is the first in the Netherlands to reveal the whole gamut of contemporary Caribbean art and artists. It focuses on a shared identity, shared history and shared socio-economic conditions: a combination of factors that has produced a certain surreal way of communicating, both in words and images. Or, as Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz so beautifully puts it, 'It might have been a consequence of being Antillean. Who more sci-fi than us?'

‘Who More Sci-Fi Than Us' is a discursive account of the Caribbean that reveals a kind of common culture shared by all the islands. The exhibition also shows the complexity and diversity of the region. In fact, it may actually be quite wrong to talk about ‘the Caribbean’ at all. We don’t want to ‘frame’ the artists in a geographical context but to centre attention on the account of the region. The exhibition presents facets like its shared history, political conditions, the role of religion and the day-to-day life of the average inhabitant’.

The relevance of the Caribbean to the Netherlands is self-evident. You only have to think of the large Antillean, Aruban and Surinamese communities in this country to see that. However, the Dutch art world has so far paid little attention to these ethnicities. KAdE is now leading the way by situating them in the context of the wider Caribbean region.

Sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, photos, film & animation
'Who More Sci-Fi Than Us' includes a selection of sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, photos, film & animation works by young emerging artists and more established artists, some of whom still live and work in the Caribbean, while others have emigrated to the West.

Title 'Who More Sci-Fi Than Us'
The title of the 'Who More Sci-Fi Than Us' exhibition is taken from 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao', a book by Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz. Nancy Hoffmann: 'This exhibition is the first in the Netherlands to reveal the whole gamut of contemporary Caribbean art and artists. It focuses on a shared identity, shared history and shared socio-economic conditions: a combination of factors that has produced a certain surreal way of communicating, both in words and images. Or, as Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz so beautifully puts it, 'It might have been a consequence of being Antillean. Who more sci-fi than us?

Summary
On show at Kunsthal KAdE, from 26 May to 26 August 2012, is an exhibition entitled ‘Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, contemporary art from the Caribbean’. The exhibition is guest curated by Nancy Hoffmann. ‘Who More Sci-Fi Than Us’ features work by a representative selection of contemporary artists from all over the Caribbean, from south (Antilles and Surinam) to north (Cuba and Jamaica) and from west (Costa Rica and Panama) to east (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and every island in between. Nancy Hoffmann: 'This exhibition is the first in the Netherlands to reveal the whole gamut of contemporary Caribbean art and artists. It focuses on a shared identity, shared history and shared socio-economic conditions: a combination of factors that has produced a certain surreal way of communicating, both in words and images. Or, as Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz so beautifully puts it, 'It might have been a consequence of being Antillean. Who more sci-fi than us?'

Catalogue
The catalogue published to accompany the exhibition reveals an additional fact of Caribbean life. The region features different language areas and hence language barriers. The cultural differences between them are rooted principally in the islands’ relationships with their mother countries, past or present: Spain, France, England and the Netherlands. To reflect this, the catalogue is divided into four sections, each prefaced by a general introduction by an author from the relevant language area: Leon Wainwright (UK), Giscard Bouchotte (FR/ Haiti), Charl Landvreugd (NL/ SU), Blanca Victoria López Rodríguez (Cuba) and Giscard Bouchotte (FR/ Haiti). The catalogue also features an interview with Simon Njami (FR) by Jocelyn Valton (Guadeloupe).

Participating artists:
Aruba: Ryan Oduber, Barbados: Joscelyn Gardner, Sheena Rose, Colombia: Oswaldo Macia, Costa Rica: Edgar León, Cuba: Alexandre Arreachea, Carlos Garaicoa, Yaima Carrazana, Ana Mendieta (†), Curaçao: David Bade, Tirzo Martha, Tony Monsanto, Dominican Republic: Marcos Lora Read, Jorge Pineda, Limber Vilorio, Guadeloupe: Bruno Pedurand, Guyana: Hew Locke, Haiti: Mario Benjamin, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Edouard Duval Carrié, Jamaica: Marvin Bartley, Renée Cox, Leasho Johnson, Ebony G. Patterson, Martinique: Jean Francois Boclé, David Damoison, Panama: Jhafis Quintero Gonzales, Jonathan Harker/ Donna Conlon, Puerto Rico: Pepón Osorio, Puerto Rico/ Cuba: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, St. Vincent: Michael McMillan, Surinam: Remy Jungerman, Charl Landvreugd, Marcel Pinas, Trinidad: Wendell McShine.

Nancy Hoffmann
Between 2006 and 2011, Nancy Hoffmann was director/co-founder of the Instituto Buena Bista – Curaçao Center for Contemporary Art in Willemstad (Curaçao). Together with the other co-founders, Tirzo Martha and David Bade, she focused at that time principally on education, artist residencies, projects and strategy. Hoffmann’s current activities still include extensive research on contemporary art in the Caribbean. Among other things, she is currently preparing a PhD thesis on artist initiatives in that region. These activities involve visits not only to many of the region’s countries and islands, but also to relevant institutions in the Caribbean and elsewhere (Americas Society NYC, Museo del Barrio, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics) and to retrospective exhibitions like ‘Infinite Island’ (Brooklyn Museum 2008), ‘Krèyol Factory’ (Paris 2009) and the Biennial de Pontevedra’s ‘Utrópicos’ (Spain 2010).





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