'Required Reading' is part of the 1:54 Special Projects programme, featuring the works of two Jamaican artists, Leasho Johnson and Monique Gilpin. This is the first time the Caribbean will have a presence in the contemporary African art landscape.
In his discussion of identity in the Caribbean diaspora, Stuart Hall speaks to the location points of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ in the ‘New World’, ’the primal scene, where the fateful encounter was staged between Africa and the West’. The specificity of identity location in the diaspora of the contemporary Caribbean, and the fraught tensions of these locations is explored in the works of Leasho Johnson and Monique Gilpin. Both artists engage with issues of identity through the use of disruptive histories to rebirth new narratives. Leasho Johnson explores the constructs of gender in relation to contemporary stereotypes and the merging of perceived values of material culture and the dissonance evident in post-colonial narratives. Monique Gilpin uses porcelain as a colonial fractured object through which to speak to the psychological tensions of its (in)stability in a contemporary context.
198 is a nonprofit art space with a 30-year history of platforming artists and curators in issues of emerging cultural identities. Suzie Wong Presents platforms emerging contemporary artists of the Caribbean to new audiences, focusing on creating new opportunities with curators and collectors. This collaboration is a new partnership, seeking to strengthen transatlantic relationships and increase Caribbean visibility.