Curators’ Statement 2015

Present Nearness

For the past 41 years Grenada has struggled through independence, a failed revolution, invasion/intervention by a world power, and crippling natural disasters. Offering no simple solutions, with great empathy, these artists present an inward and outward, and hopeful gaze on this disordered world. Art as an instrument of scientific and social research allows us to understand who we are, what we do, and where we go.

Oliver Benoit. Ph D is an abstractionist, often obfuscating images and issues of identity with many layers of paint and texture. The tapestry like surfaces of his paintings reveal his ideological search. He poses that philosophies and systems have failed to incorporate the needs of humans for true value of their worth, thus creating a perpetual cycle of disenfranchisement, and in turn, disorder and violence.

Maria McClafferty spins tales in glass, layering translucence, contrasting wrenching feminine suffering with light and colour. Fused glass panels hang from a scaffold of steel; the feminine cruciform figure incubates an embryo. Her work is informed by the reading of the philosopher Richard Rorty, and reflects notions of disappointed hope.

Susan Mains, D.Ed. installs an homage to the people of Nigeria who have died violently through terrorism. She arranges clothing and objects on the ground in the cloister of the Sala Tiziano; the fallen. Exposed to nature’s elements for 7 months of the Biennale, decay will result. The decay speaks to the memory of these events—bits and pieces remain, but eventually such horror is forgotten and dismissed. Viewer interaction is invited.

The artistic practice of Asher Mains is marked by a participatory practice incorporating painting and the posing of tradition against current reality. The large portraits of Cocoa Farmers are part of an on going project to subvert classic ideals of art collected by the rich. He believes that the best keepers of heritage are those who live it. Reproduced as billboards, these portraits will also be displayed in Grenada to connect the international to the local.

The pavilion incorporates three Italian artists, recognizing that art is transnational, and has no political or geographical boundaries.The art of the narrative has for years been the painting practise of Carmine Ciccarini; urban scenarios with their human component, connected to each other within time and space. Giuseppe Linardi paints deliberately on the border between abstraction and figuration. His series, “decodificazion” creates a feeling of “push-pull’, that at once intrigues and repels. Francesco Bosso proposes, through photography, a world intangible yet contingent upon human beings. His dream-like scenarios are real, theatrical in aesthetic, choosing the best of nature to reveal to humans that all is not lost.

Susan Mains, Francesco Elisei

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