Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017

Artist Talk with Monica Marin

Oceana James, For Gowie the Deceitful Fellow (Performance), 2016, photo: Sarene Brumant

Monday, 12 June 2017, 7 pm
Invisible Heritage
Artist Talk in English with Monica Marin, Johanna Bermúdez-Ruiz and Gerville R. Larsen

In dialog with participating artists Johanna Bermúdez-Ruiz and Gerville R. Larsen, curator Monica Marin will talk about her concept for the exhibition Invisible Heritage, presented this February in St. Croix, and now shown in Copenhagen. The exhibition addresses the ways in which the Caribbean vernacular culture reveals the marginalized narratives in the colonial history of the former Danish, today US Virgin Islands. The Danish perspective of the colonial narrative has been the primary focus, thereby creating blind spots that conceal the rich African Caribbean cultural contributions.

Virgin Islands Folk Arts, passed down from generations, have helped to tell a fuller story. The exhibition speaks to the resistance to colonialism, to the syncretism of European, African, and Caribbean creolized aesthetics. Cariso singers, Masqueraders, Bomboulah and Goombay dancers utilized their art forms to push back against systems of oppression. The project speaks to the creative power of making something out of nothing.

Using the the 2017  Centennial of the „Transfer Day“, the Invisible Heritage takes a critical look at the stories, events, and people that have been excluded. The project features contemporary artists from the region who have taken back the narrative. Through their “re-visions” the artists provoke questions: How can these new approaches be utilized to operate from the inside? How can Virgin Islanders  manifest their own destinies, reframe their past, and be in control of their future development? And, how can a critical perspective of Transfer used to Transform?

Monica Marin
a curator, artist, and educator from the US Virgin Islands. Studied Art History, Theory and Criticism and graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work and research addresses the structural history of colonialism and the ways in which coloniality is manifested today through tourism, environmental racism, and the privatization of public land. Current projects examine the missing African-Caribbean art history in the archive, and vernacular cultural expressions as a space of resistance, including Invisible Heritage community arts project, and Take 5 and Migrating Histories Performance Festivals with Carla Acevedo-Yates. Marin works for the Virgin Islands Government on activating restoration projects through arts & culture, and as an independent curator helps to manage the Caribbean Museum Center for Arts artist in residency program and many of their exhibitions.

Johanna Bermúdez-Ruiz
an award winning filmmaker and a native of St. Croix/US Virgin Islands. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in filmmaking from Antioch College, Ohio/USA. Johanna has gained national and international acclaim and recognition for her distinguished films, documentaries, and music videos.

Gerville Rene Larsen
architect and artist, a multi-generational Crucian from the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He has received awards in both disciplines and promotes preservation/conservation of the rich cultural resources of the Virgin Islands. He is an abstract and figure painter with recent work that readdresses the narrative of who built and shaped our colonial past and the relevance between person and place. He has a B.Arch from Cornell University, Ithaca/USA.

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