In Search Of ……..Galvanize

Finding truth no matter the lie…..

A street artist speaks from his painting on a coconut vendor’s cooler around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Trinidad, West Indies 2006 see more of his work

Words rightly put by a street artist with a pure vision, “where did we go wrong” and why was the art project Galvanize visibly absent, and why did it faltered to ignite any public interest and soured many of the Artists who were involved. Here are a few clues.

1. If you were told there was more to see but the space was inaccessible to the public. What would you say?

2. If you are told that video installation is up in a restaurant in Port of Spain and you took the time to go here and nothing is up and no one in the place knew anything about it. What would you think?

thebookmann stumbled across a stencil of Sabrina Charran but not a new idea of street stencil art.

Art for the streets, stenciled work spray painted along the Port of Spain and San Fernando carnival parade route, 2001
3. If you were told that site specific art would be placed in abandoned areas. Where should you look?

4. If you walked across a busy roadway and the gates to a proposed exhibition were closed with no posted apologies. How would you feel?

5. If you had the support of the Art community, an Art organization, television and print media, but still was incapacitated to arouse any public interest. What do you think the agenda of the project was in the first place? – thebookmann

A copy of Nicolai Noel’s work stenciled against a wall fifty feet from the street in a abandon lot in Port of Spain filled with garbage. – Was the public expected to walk through the fith to see the small insignificant stencil ?

The project was a big undertaking by the parties involved, and I am unsure whether the objectives were met. Nontheless, the concept in theory was worth attempting. I must state that thebookmann and Adele approached Mr. Lewis regarding the plans for Galvanize as we found that what they intended was extremely close to what thebookmann has been doing for over a year without funding. We suggested video projections of elements from the blog, to be transmitted throughout Port-of-Spain and environs. Unfortunately our suggestion came a little too late, and we were not included. It is essential to make this clear as I continue because contrary to how this maybe perceived, a project like Galvanize is looked upon with optimism, hope and excitement. Such activities are sadly lacking generally in the art landscape of Trinidad and Tobago. In fact Galvanize did not reach (outside of Port-of -Spain or even to Tobago. (Something to seriously look at.)

Tessa Alexander’s billboard was locked up in a studio where it should have been opened to the public. Why was this allowed to happen?

My concern was the difficulty I had in getting to see some of the work. for example, Tessa Alexander, Nicolai Noel and Marlon Griffith. These things can happen when an idea has not been completely ironed out. on the other hand, Jaime leeloy produced a thorough project that managed well despite some minor concerns. she was able to use an air conditioned space that she cordened off with a black cloth. She also wisely included a very thorough blog of her working process as a follow up to her work. Leaving nothing to chance. So what was the objective of Galvanize? And was it met? i believe the project helped to prove once and for all the obvious divide between Art and the public at large. it is a very real concern, and needs to be more fully addressed.
Galvanize: A six week programme held as a ‘reaction’ to CARIFESTA promises a body of work from a group of artists that can be seen all over Port-of-Spain and environs. Oddly, the people who know about Galvanize have the same complaints about Carifesta. They don’t know where everything is located, and they don’t feel inclined to go looking either. – Adele see where it began and the Galvanize launch post. Left: Jaime leeloy’s video about the role in which young women are portrayed in her society.

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