Remembering Bookmann geocites 2004 – Bryan Bullen


Misbehavin’ Properly, is an installation which explores (through the use of conceptual language and humor) attitudes toward control, resistance and self-determinism. It is a critique of colonial history marked by servitude and the pervasive effects of economic and cultural domination. These residual effects still prevail in the social patterns of development in the Caribbean, and are today reinforced by the operative powers of the ‘first world’ vis-à-vis mass globalization.


This sculpture will investigate the dynamic tension between the forces of control and the indigenous modes of resistance. The work will create a space for the body where the actions of sitting, kneeling, and surveying will reinforce feelings of venerability and power. Viewers will be forced to confront themselves and others as they traverse in, around and through the sculpture. By the exchange of power and control (and the reversal of roles) it is intended that assumptions/positions of viewers will be challenged on issues of race, gender, and class as they relate to the sculpture and by deduction the Caribbean and the world at large.

The installation will comprise of a monolithic, woven, suspended metal blanket, meant as a metaphor for the overriding structure (globalization) which hovers, and engulfs its viewers. Constructed of generic metal container strapping, the blanket represents a (waste) byproduct of consumerism in a manner normally associated with weaving and traditional basketry. The intention is to comment on the lack of homegrown production and our insistence to import goods from outside the region. This will in turn, reinforce dependency as we buy into a global market, blanketing the economies and limiting the creative possibilities of the Caribbean.


Serving as counterpoint to the metal blanket is a precariously balanced hammered metal structure containing a jacket made from cocoa leaves (a reliquary representative of the containment of Caribbean iconography) that is the supportive armature of the sculpture. The idea is to render two independent systems that operate differently, but, co-exist within the overall framework of the sculpture. This is intended to instruct small economies ( as the Caribbean) to value self-reliance and the development of resources as a way to determine their destiny outside the larger hegemonic constructs of the dominant world order. – Bryan Bullen 2005

Bryan Bullen is an international artist, industrial designer and architect, whose work has earned him several awards. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989 from the Ontario College of Art and Design (O.C.A.D) and his Master of Architecture in 1995 from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc).

He is one of the principle partners in the firm of the Caribbean Office of Co-operative Architecture (COCOA) based in St.George’s, Grenada. The work of COCOA has been recognized throughout the Caribbean with publications in MACO magazine, and Caribbean Architect. Bryan Bullen lives and works in Grenada.

Work in progress 2005
Canada Council of the Arts / Conseil des Arts du Canada Artist in residency programme 2005
View other work from Artist of the residency . Credits: Caribbean Contemporary Arts CCA7, Bogart Fredericks, Sam Mollineau, Rene Frolich

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