Doing justice to the weak

Best Village sets at Alice Yard Space – we eh reach


Erin Caner attempts to make the best of what is provided to her at (Alice Yard & Trinity-in-Trinidad incentive )

One of the critical problems of the Alice Yard space is the yard itself. I just looks unkempt. Can a artist’s work be placed in its best light? At a recent photo exhibition in the yard, just walking into the space made you so repulsed that you were tempted to walk out. So why allow your work to seen so tacky, so unprofessional, why have it up at all.

A photographic student from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut finds out that her intriguing work she produced is completely destroyed by the lack of proper wall space to accommodate the photographs properly. Galleries such as the CCA7 InterAmera Space are sadly missed. If Alice Yard purports itself as a forum for contemporary artists, since its conception, it should have developed further after three years in operation and answered key questions to how best to make the space meaningful to serve both the administrative and artists alike. The experience should be a pleasant one, not that of tripping or dodging in an unleveled dark open air concrete patio. This is not a personal attack, this is a simple observation.

The Stations of the Cross enacted at Mount St. Benedict, Trinidad during the celebration of Easter is particularly intriguing. A pun, a self-portrait of how she, Caner was crucified by those who knew better in presenting art

Here is Alice Yard’s mandate:

Alice Yard Spaceis a small gallery in the backyard of 80 Roberts Street–a nine-by-seven-by-ten-foot concrete and glass box designed by architect Sean Leonard, which opens in September 2007. It is just large enough to fit an artist’s installation, a video work, a few drawings or paintings.

…..Alice Yard has been home to a series of weekly Friday-night “Conversations”, bringing musicians, artists, writers, and audiences together for informal performances and interactions. The gallery now creates the possibility for another kind of conversation, by offering contemporary artists a space to show a carefully selected piece of recent work, or even work in progress.

You need to explain yourselves, where were the curatorial advisers?


A series of vignettes of the culture from Trinidad taken from a student exchange between UWI and Trinity Collage. The photographs are tacked to a iron gate.


In a recent comment, a reader debates over the formability of how art can be place without structural grounding in its presentation to the public

Comment.. You clearly have no concept of spacial relations nor do you have an understanding of art in the greater sense. Art displays should not just be simple squares on a white wall. True creativity can be emphasized through unconventional displays and interesting use of a wonky space. This is not to say that Alice Yard cannot put on “proper“formal displays but simply that is is often more interesting to err on the side of creativity rather than dullness.

I was present at last Monday’s show and was incredibly impressed by the way that the artist chose to show her work. It showed impressive vision and a creative streak that might not be present in artists that are older and more set in their formal, and often boring, ways.

In response.. Therefore we concur that Art, or the practice of it, and in the many facets, can stand on the mere principle of concept without requiring any visual sensitiveness in its presentation. If Ms.Caner consciously made these decisions with her portfolio, then I am in (err)to a ghastly flaw for my genuine like of her photographs.

Believe me, if this is a war of ideologies, I tempt you no further to open the debate between, concept verses presentation. And please refrain from any Tracey Emin examples.


Rebuttal with a revision…

What was considered as a warm gathering of mainly students from Trinity College on a student exchange from the University of the West Indies, a photographer explores an unorthodox way of presenting her photographs relating to a spectrum of religious festivals taken from January till May, 2009. A series of photos are mounted against a partition illuminated by a 40 watt light bulb. On a major wall at the Open Space, and on the face of a concrete wash trough, she inventively hand paints an inscription explaining her experiences through the lens of her camera.

She writes, “Photographing Trinidad has been challenging to me, in confronting my own identity and how I am received, perceived in a new culture. Its been about encountering different conceptions of time and space….” and concludes with the phrase, ” I find the matrix of colors and forms to be revealing as a creation of a visual language to explain the unconsciousness.”
Other photographs are placed unconventionally on a mesh gate, and candles are placed in and about prints staggered on an elongated table thus giving a cosy ambiance to an informal gathering of well wishers in support to a show that will be fondly remembered.

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