Nation in Transition

Nation in Transition
Location: Landhuis Bloemhof, Sta. Rosaweg #6.
Start date: 2014-02-19
End date: 2014-03-19
Time: Tuesday till Saturday: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Participating artists
Ailsa AnastatiaCarl ArizaAvantia Damberg, Marvi Johanna Franco Zapata, Saneeya Kanga, Pito Polo, Brett Russel, Omar Sling, Babette de Waele and Giovani Zanolino.

Meet & Greet: March 15, 2014, from 10:30 a.m.

‘Naked’, Ailsa Anastatia’s installation for the art show Nation in Transition is placed on the floor, facing the open doors to the gardens of Bloemhof. A row of wooden frames are placed at various distances from each other. Some are marked with blue coloring and the whole is lighted from within with spots, emanating blue light. In between the front two frames lies a rusted pickaxe head. Together the frames form a kind of tunnel, but the last one appears to be a closed compartiment holding another pickaxe head. In the accompanying statement the artist urges the nation to “(…) shed the layers of stubborn rust in mind and head. Uncover the purifying light”. Anastatia shows that the light is present and at some places the blue color has even stuck. Moving up to the front the frames are more open, but the process needs to be continued and the axe has been idle for too long.

The exhibition’s theme was conceptualized by Sinuhe Oomen, Bloemhof’s manager, who with this show also aims to give young and starting artist a platform. Eleven artists, at the start of their artistic career, were invited to participate and share their vision of the young nation Curaçao. On October 10th, 2010 (locally refered to as ‘10-10-10’) Curaçao became a constituent country within the Dutch Kingdom. The title ‘Nation in Transition’ is inspired by the late Nelson Mandela who successfully guided the transition of his nation from a society with Apartheid into a democratic and free country where all races have more opportunity to prosper and also by the vision of prof. dr. ir. Jan Rotmans, who developed the transition theory.

M.J. Franco Zapata created the installation ‘I Am who I Am because of the Weather’. She aptly transcribes the popular “I Am”-phrase and philosophically questions the community with her statement: “Does race really exist, or are we just a result of our geographical location?” Topped with a large sunshade her installation defies the perception that weather only matters outside. Her painting ‘Broken Cycle’ executed in acrylic on a mailbag reinforces her notion. She calls for a “(…) Curaçaoan revolution, which can only begin once we break the current mindset.” The paintings composition is dominated by a scale, indicating her search for a new equilibrium.

Giovani Zanolino participates with two digital mixed media artworks. In his monumental photographic work ‘Pel-I-Can’, -which rings familiar with ‘Yes, I can’- a large pelican spreading his majestic wings, takes over the picture. Its head is forming a near to perfect symbioses with the body of the man behind him. Zanolino advocates a return to nature “(…) our transition from Man to Nature. We are One.”

Omar Sling continues with the bird-theme, thus also showing his artistic development in working with assemblage. Discovered by Sinuhe Oomen at the gallery of Fundashon Kas di Kultura, Sling was also selected to participate and share his view of Curaçao as a young nation. The assemblage “In God We Trust” is lighted from within and shows a bird with an exposed heart held aloft by 10 virgins. The virgins in their turn are hovering above an island in the sea. The composition brings to mind the mural behind the altar of the Holy Family Church in Otrobanda, painted by the Dutch priest Marcolino Maas (1909-1981) from Puerto Rico in the Forties of the previous century. As in this altarpiece Christ is shown as a saviour, likewise Sling uses the bird as a symbol of freedom. For him on 10-10-10 a new nation was born, with great potential and full of hope, but the promised land is still out of reach. He calls to “(…) be the change you want to see in the world.”

Pito Polo offers us a wooden stool with a soft cushion, but far from comfortable. The seat appears unstable, has traces of burning and the cushion is too small. This awkward model refers to the new status: ‘E Bèrdat Inkómodo’ (The Inconvenient Truth). And though it may not be what we expected he urges the people to sit down, make an effort and perform the task at hand with love and dedication.

Meet & Greet
On Saturday March 15, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. the young artists will be present at the gallery for a Meet & Greet-session.
6 of the artists will also give a short presentation. In max. 8 minutes p.p.  each will give a powerpoint and talk in detail about their work in the exhibition and share what inspires them when creating. Their presentations will be in English, Dutch and/or Papiamentu.

The exhibition remains till March 19, 2014.