Gallery current exhibition
Opening 9 October 2021
As a child of the diaspora, no formal institution ever introduced the idea that our history and identity might extend beyond being a descendent of slavery. Ghost Island, seeks to build an epistemological framework and metaphor with which to document and process the dynamic and unseen influences of Caribbean identity; the Black imagination.
By visually deconstructing New World-imagination, Ghost Island seeks to uncouple the Black and/or Caribbean narrative from the colonial sphere. Ghost Island also stands for Suriel's own insular background in Saint Martin, and connotes the New
World-condition of complex overlapping histories and immateriality. Suriel proposes that the imaginative lens is arguably the best with which to view how folkloric figures act as an agent in history and animate cultural memory. As a documentary of imagination, Ghost Island posits the Black subconscious as a device for reconfiguring collective memory and reclaiming histories.
Importantly, Suriel’s process also includes interviews with people as a means of visual and empirical research. For Ghost Island, it is crucial that Suriel meets people and gets involved with the community on a more personal level. This is executed by means of audio-visual recording. In this way, oral story telling will always be the point of departure of his research/project. The objective of this research is to understand how the local populations visualize their ancestors, deities, and folkloric figures. With Ghost Island, Suriel tries to answer the three fundamental questions that
underlie both his artistic research practice and his own ontology: What constitutes a Caribbean and/or Black identity? How can we imagine this identity? What cognitive tools can be developed to engage with Caribbean/Black identity?
Karim el Maktafi
Chrysalid is a dynamic cocoon aiming at transforming the canons around contemporary art and its market. It’s a conceptual and experimental gallery based in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) that actively promotes and collaborates with young and daring artists from all over Europe. As a communal platform, Chrysalid wants to give the artists room to experiment, to grow in their vision and to fearlessly portrait reality through the insight of their unique practices. In this metamorphic framework, the individuals behind the idea of the gallery collaborate to reshape and broaden the narratives in contemporary art, making them more inclusive and representative of the multitude of details that existence is made of. Chrysalid is not a showbox. Chrysalid is a pulsating core of transformative energy.
Marth von Loeben
Gallery art curator
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Gallery identity manager
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