Playing Card > > > > Marlon Darbeau

Gambling at one’s State, literally – Slick but not really slick

EN ROUTE installation at Alice Yard, Trinidad

The graphic artist Marlon Darbeau has installed a work that relates to the political state of the country. This work by all means is literal. Darbeau has mocked up a stage of a card game where the participants are wheeling and dealing with the future of the country, yet not showing their full hand. This was indicated by incomplete sentences hinting on corruption. He also had seats for the onlookers as they suppressed (sat) on the social issues facing Trinidad and Tobago. Icons representing crime, planning and basic infrastructure were impressed on the seats.

Seats of the public

En Route … Of Bridges and Barriers
, an installation by Marlon Darbeau, continues until Saturday 13 December, 2008. Hours: 3.00 to 7.00 pm. Alice Yard 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain.

The ruling party – The opposition – The people

Marlon Darbeau’s work should have taken on the look of the card itself, there is an example what it could have been. Better yet if this was done in neon.

2 comments so far

  1. richard rawlins on

    Graphic Designer Marlon Darbeau’s, installation is so much more than just a mock- up of a staging of a card game. It is actually a very well crafted installation that encompasses different design sensibilities, ideation, advertising and picong.

    Darbeau’s En Route … Of Bridges and Barriers explores our acceptance of or rather our willingness to accept our role as characters within the political power-plays that govern us all in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Darbeau’s industrial design sensibilities were expressed in his construction of the irritant engraved “Barri-stools”, (of course inspired by the median barriers that we see everyday on our 2hr commutes to work), and the “Deviation Table”, a chunky, wooden cuboid painted in the orange and black stripes now so familiar on the thick concrete pillars that support our overpasses. One patron was even overheard asking if he could have a pair of stools constructed with his own irritants, that of his ex-wives on them.

    The piece also reflected typographic design as the “Deviation Table” became the first letter “n” in in the font that Darbeau designed exclusively for this installation (reflected in the missing letters on the wall, and on the playing cards designed for the show).

    Above all else his engagement of the public within this installation space was by far and wide the the show’s most entertaining feature. An eight year old visiting the show on it’s second night saw the “Deviation Table” as a bridge and actually sat under it inadvertently expressing one of the shows titles.

    For many others the real big draw were the “Barri-stools and their irritant cushions”.
    Another child visiting the show, held the cushion up so that it would block out a parent’s face, creating an irritant person at a distance if you will. And of course there was the fixing of the cushions themselves.”The most interesting thing about the evening” , as one colleague of Darbeau, pointed out, “was the way that people were neatening up the cushions after they themselves or others sat on the stools”. Another patron would reflect, “that the cushion-fixing thing was interesting because it demonstrated that people are still, by and large, willing to treat things with respect and care if they are presented to them in the same spirit.”

  2. richard rawlins on

    To see even more of Marlon’s work, check out issue 5 DRACONIAN SWITCH at

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