Monday, March 03, 2008


n the realisation that I was not going to Trinidad for Carnival 2008, I comforted my self by visiting Tate Modern on the southern side of the Thames River. I was blown away this time, by the work of Louise Bourgeois. A massive collection of the 96 year old was on display, over 200 pieces in all kinds of mediums and materials. What impressed me away this time was one massive spider sculpture called Maman. This piece that greeted you outside the Tate modern was compared by the artist to her mother, who she describes as “deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, and neat” she also thinks the spider , or her mom is also fiddly and over rational…

It is said that Bourgeois has a style that can not be categorised or nailed down and that she dabbles with techniques that are modern and traditional, and that her works continuously defies convention. These are qualities I admire and try to adopt to my own works in mas. I took pictures of Maman but was not allowed to take photos of the other stuff inside the Tate, but the spider is enough of a visual wonder anyway, so take a little look at Maman as I saw it.

Her spider also brings to mind Minshalls ‘Kiss of the spider woman’ from the band Sans Humanite in 1989.
If only because they both represent females, or female qualities, that are at opposite sides of the female spectrum.

A second piece if I can call it that was what is in effect a massive crack in the turbine hall of the Tate modern. Created by the artist Doris Salcedo this work is called wait for it SHIBBOLETH. This man or should I say a woman made crack is concrete cast with a chain linked wire fence and represents for the artist a disregarded marginalised and obliterated history of racism and the dark side of modernity… to be honest I did not get it all but taking pictures of it was great.

In a booklet given to me on the crack it said that shibboleth “is a word used as a test for detecting people from another district or country by their pronunciation …it is therefore a way of separating one people from another.” I guess if a certain rumour is true about the splitting of a certain big fun band next year, the SHIBBOLETH, will be ‘all inclusive or none.’

Like I said before I enjoyed taking pictures of the fissure, and do marvel at the depth of the metaphor applied to its creation, these are but some of the different aspects of creativity in carnival art, I believe the young masmen and modern designers should be going to such lengths if they are to successfully carry the torch for Trinidad’s Carnival, making it or keeping it the greatest show on earth.

Take a look at the pics anyway.

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