I've spoken many times about my last trip to the National Gallery. I went to view the new exhibition. In my recounting, I've spent more time talking about my date than the art work I viewed. Not today!
Bam! In your face, Sally! That is what the first piece said when I looked at it. I was a little afraid (and, no, my name is not Sally). All around a white walled room were huge portraits or rather photographs of bare chested, slender, tight-pantsed, sneaker-clad so-called "rude bwoys" (rude boys). Their eyebrows were sharply shaved and shaped and their hair seemed straightened/relaxed. Their faces were about four or five shades lighter than the rest of their bodies.
Right around the room on the floor, lay spent shells and tampons...
There was a very disturbing piece called Ni*** The Winna. I've reconsidered discussing it since I have to keep the blog clean. Give it a look if you're in Kingston one day and tell me what you think.
Perhaps my favourite piece was from a well-known Jamaican music video director, Ras Kassa (he directed the video for Damian Marley's Welcome To Jamrock). I don't remember the name but his piece depicted the remains of a tiny home after it was ravaged by fire. There were burnt curtains, burnt ironing board with burnt clothes about to be ironed, burnt couch, burnt tv. The tv still worked though. On the tv , Ras Kassa was doing an interview with a family. I didn't stay to listen to all of the interview - I was too affected by the scene. All I saw as I looked at his piece (it was an entire room) was my poem. A poem I wrote called the Museum. My poem had been about something I heard on the news about a child, a girl who was trapped in a house. This house was lit on fire by gunmen who watched her burn to death as she futilely tried to open the grill of her house to get out. The gunmen fired shots at anyone who tried to come near to save her. I 'm not sure if Kassa was re-creating that story. But it feels like that to me.
The other pieces didn't affect me much.