Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Diaspora Vibe Gallery presents works by artists Patrick de Castro, Hugo Moro, Jacquenette Arnette

Diaspora Vibe Gallery Presents
Mirrors, Messages and Manifestations
by Patrick de Castro
and Ni Ange Nwa: a collaboration with artists
Hugo Moro and Jacquenette Arnette
Exhibition Dates: February 11, 2010 - March 25, 2010

Mirrors, Messages and Manifestations features work by Patrick de Castro. For Patrick, the clearest thought is change is the only constant. By eliminating excess baggage, he emphasizes working conceptually, under the pretext of less is more. Using rich color fields, he explores form and space, and creates collages from old books, magazines and found objects. He investigates dreams and archetypes of the collective unconscious, developing symbols as images that refer to oneself and operating in a space of human consciousness that transcends history and culture.

Ni Ange Nwa: Artists Jacquenette Arnette and Hugo Moro’s collaboration about the experience they had in Haiti. They wanted to work with ideas about communication referencing how the return from the Ghetto Biennale opened up a dialogue about the haphazard nature of communication, and the experience of being in that environment using the most basic methods in order to get ideas across was impactful. On Monday January 11th they secured a space for their experiment less than a month from when they had arrived and on Tuesday January 12th the earthquake changed everything.

From December 10 – 20, 2009 Jacquenette and Hugo went to Port au Prince, Haiti to complete artwork for the first Ghetto Biennale. This Biennale was a project set up by English photographer Leah Gordon and American Curator Myron Beasley of Bates College. During the two weeks in Haiti, artists from around the world worked in the neighborhood of the Grand Rue, where the famous Sculptors of the Grand Rue collaborated and exchanged ideas on art and what it means to be an artist in the world. They always realized the differences between their backgrounds and experiences but not so much as they would in less than a month.

Working on this installation has given them a chance to reflect on their time there and grieve for those lost. Attending the Biennale had given them an unexpected network of artists that have all remained in constant contact before and after this tragedy. The resulting piece is a beautifully haunting slice of time. Xiomara Alfaro’s soulful rendition of Angelitos Negros plays over a video, generously granted for use by Emily Troutman, of the opening reception from the Biennale of the Rara band’s inaugural procession through the Grand Rue. The music’s metaphor of black angels being excluded from church paintings is a cold reminder of how Haiti has been excluded from the worldview for years. The uplifting spirit can be felt when you hear the actual celebration at the end. This is the Haiti we want to help and the Haiti we need to remember. This video is projected over a sculpture of child figurines forming a double helix. In the corner of the installation is a silent Victrola with Libby Holman’s emotion bare torch song version of House of the Rising Sun, a reminder of how other people of color have been treated during times of adversity. The reality is that the information of looting, violence, and unrest we hear on the news is a far cry from the struggle, famine, and hopeful nature of those living through it.

Diaspora Vibe Gallery is located at 3938 N. Miami Avenue in the Design District. Gallery hours are 11am – 6pm, Tuesday through Friday with appointments on Saturdays. For further information please call Diaspora Vibe at (305) 573-4046 or visit www.diasporavibe.net, www.diasporavibegallery.blogspot.com, www.diaweb.diasporavibe.net, www.flickr.com/photos/diasporavibe. Diaspora Vibe Gallery is a multi-disciplinary art space serving as a laboratory for emerging artists of the Caribbean Diaspora and other artists of color, providing them with a contemporary sensibility to explore and experiment with new forms and cultural themes.


Support for Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator is provided in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Artography, LINC, funded by the Ford Foundation, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Dade Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, NEA, Funding Arts Network, DACRA Realty, National Performance Network / VAN Gift of Carl and Toni Randolph Family Foundation, The Friedman-Klarreich Family Foundation, DeLaCour Family Foundation, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, and The Buddy Taub Foundation. Founded by its current Director/Curator, Rosie Gordon-Wallace in 1996. Diaspora Vibe is currently celebrating its 14th anniversary.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Hongs: Miami New Times Review

reprinted from Miami New Times Music Blog

by Abel Folgar

There is something very delicate and ephemeral about the Hongs. Their music sounds like something that reverberates in hallways in those moments before sleep hits. I'm talking about serenity -- because there is something very serene about this EP. It somehow manages to guide a slow dance that still boasts moments of unrestrained energy. Stylistically, it dips into the wells of New Wave, shoegaze, and sugary pop.

Gordon Myers plays a casual bass that allows his bandmates, guitarist Aaron Lebos on guitar and drummer Rodolfo Zuñiga, to soar while allowing his voice to hit impressive ranges. There is something sultry about his vocals; you almost believe it in "Charade" when he tells you he'll be "the only love you'll need tonight." (That track, incidentally, also features Didi Gutman from Brazilian Girls.) "Huh" is airy and atmospheric, slightly robotic with appropriate Casio-tones peppered throughout. "Under Standing" features Afrobeta's Smurphio, and his influence is clear here, with almost light electro sound melded with the band's usual slightly Gothic approach. All in all this EP is 15 minutes of syrupy bliss that engage and soothe.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Tribute to Rex Nettleford

February 2, 2010

We mourn the passing of Rex Nettleford tonight. His contribution to Jamaican cultural development and to the critical discourse on art and society in the Caribbean, is too big a subject for a single blog post but we present a simple tribute, an excerpt of his introduction to the NGJ’s catalogue of the landmark Intuitive Eye exhibition of 1979, in which the concept of Intuitive art was articulated.

“… these Intuitive painters and carvers must be closely observed and keenly studied as guides to that aesthetic certitude which must be rooted in our own creative potential if the world is to take us seriously as creators rather than as imitators. Those intuitive artists have indeed found what to paint with and what to paint on, what to carve with and what to carve on, despite the economic marginality most of them have suffered in a society that has not functioned largely in their interest. But instead of taking refuge in flight they have pursued their art with vigour and as a form of action against both material poverty and threats to spiritual survival, by drawing on their own resources which include the diverse dimensions of everyday living, the deep and poignant inspiration of the Jamaican religious experience, the mythology and lore of a transplanted and creolised people and the dynamic recall of suppressed cultural memories.

This last fact of our Jamaican existence renders these artists as highly sophisticated guardians of aspects of our heritage which is here celebrated in paint, in wood and in alabaster – with an elegance which is sometimes savage, sometimes serene, often with a hieratic quality that asserts the dignity of self and the elevation of the human spirit, and always with ancestral rhythms which are bold and emphatic even at their subtlest. And probably the most reassuring thing about the best among these artists is that this is achieved with freedom from demagoguery and without the crassness of social realism. Yet they are no less ‘revolutionary’ for it. Rather, they are the embodiment of that creative tension between tradition and revolution, between an ancestral past and a groping but hopefully self-assured future. They are, as well, the embodiment of passion and contemplation of culture and instinct.”

Rex Nettleford, 1979

Monday, February 1, 2010

Aisha Tandiwe Bell Opening and Performance Thursday Febuary 4th, Brooklyn

Urban Jungle,
curated by Danny Simmons and
featuring work by Aisha Tandiwe Bell
Opening and Performance
Thursday, February 4, 2010
from 6-8pm
Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn