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Posted on February 14, 2015

Ebony G. Patterson, Invisible Presence: Bling Memories, 2014, Jamaica. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery. Photograph: Monique Gilpin and Philip Rhoden.

Priscilla Frank of The Huffington Post recently highlighted the upcoming opening of En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean. Titled “Where Caribbean Carnivals And Contemporary Performance Art Meet,” the article discusses the diverse traditions and geographical spread of Carnival across the globe, and gives insight into the impetus behind the exhibition. About the relationship between Carnival and contemporary performance art practices, En Mas’ co-curator dj maxtreme Claire Tancons states:

“In the context of contemporary art and the discourse thereof, it is one of the cultural traditions through which artists of Caribbean descent have found a path toward performance. At a time when the discourse of performance is so prevalent within the contemporary art context, it’s important for me to highlight these genealogies of artistic practices and where they stem from. They were not inspired by the European avant-garde of the last century, which is the discourse usually associated with performance art. Instead they were inspired, at least in part by, some of these cultural traditions which offer an incredible repository of creative practices.”

Tancons goes on to discuss the importance of the ICI tour as a means of connecting oft-conceived disparate notions and expressions of Carnival:

“First of all, it’s not that often that contemporary art travels to the Caribbean. But also, the reason why we attempted the feat of covering various key landmarks in a Carnival season was to be able to show them to all these different populations who may only ever have previously only been able to witness their own cultural event. Now they will be able to appreciate those of the neighboring islands. In one exhibition you have an entire year worth of Carnival.”

To read the full article, visit The Huffington Post website, here.

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