Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Masquerade 2000: Notting Hill Carnival 2010. 'The Gift'. A Critical Look.

So Masquerade 2000 had their band launch over the weekend their 2010 presentation being ‘The Gift’ Now I must say thank you to M2K for sending me their synopsis knowing the nature of Massassination, but you got to respect a group that’s  ready for critique ...
So here is the synopsis and some photos of the launch I got from face book, and of course my critique will follow.

The Gift is god given and must be accessible to all, it could be defined as 'creativity' If you decide to accept this, then creativity is the gift that makes mankind unique.
Art is traditionally considered a medium that comments, critiques and stimulates (individual or collective actions) 
Art comments on societal reflections and individual aspirations, Art critiques lives and institutions, Art stimulates religious contemplation and subtle political action, Art is objectively sought and subjectively consumed.
Upon creation, each individual is put on earth to fulfill a destiny. All are equipped with blessings and for some… natural, innate ability, a gift.
The gift is a rare and exceptional quality that can influence and change society.
Art is the mirror of society and society often mimics art. Art tells a story. Art is debatable. Art is subjective.
Just as nature works harmoniously, each person fits like a jigsaw piece adding a new dimension to the world.
Art is one manifestation of 'The Gift', a gift from The Supreme 
The Gift from above, by us, to you...
Masquerade 2000 presents to you The Gift for their 2010 theme, It is a representation of modern art in motion
The sections are as follows;
Pop Art - Pop artists have focused attention upon familiar images of popular culture, such as billboards, comic strips, magazine advertisements and supermarket products.

Optical Art - An impression of movement on the picture surface by means of optical illusion. It is derived from pop art and perceptual abstraction.

Futurism - Futurists loved speed, noise, pollution and cities; they embraced the exciting new world that was then upon them rather than hypocritically enjoying the modern world’s comforts while loudly denouncing the forces that made them possible. 

Carnival Art – An expression of freedom, a celebration of culture, it is who we are and what we know. Feathers, Gems, Sequins and Braids. This is OUR movement.

Graffiti - A medium of public expression, for people who don’t have the money or proclivity to advertise. It’s an equalisation of expression in public contexts. It is a seizure of space for non corporate, nongovernmental messages, its free speech in every sense of the term.
Cultural Artisans (SOLD OUT) and Cyber Angel (stilt walkers) will also make up the composition of the Band.

Now M2K is one of the few bands with a synopsis of some quality in we find out this ‘gift’ is one of creativity  and it is this gift that separates the human race  from other life forms.
It reads almost like a motivational book  or one of those books of daily inspiration , and to be honest it is inspiring and quite a relief, most band don’t have anything to say creatively or otherwise.
The synopsis alone reflects thought, and the lines that art is subjective, reflective, critiques, and stimulates I cannot agree more.

However there is one line, one definition that I cannot fully agree with.

“Carnival Art – An expression of freedom, a celebration of culture, it is who we are and what we know. Feathers, Gems, Sequins and Braids. This is OUR movement.”

Yes Carnival Art is an expression of freedom and culture, but “Feathers, Gems, Sequins and Braids” are not all of who we are and by no means is it ‘OUR movement’

I feel this statement is the Achilles heel in M2K’s synopsis and may be the Achilles heel in the band. Now I know the photos and the synopsis don’t make the band, and the presentation on the road is where M2K pulls all the stops when it comes to showing ‘who we are’ but when the core of your expression limits you to feathers gems, sequins and braids, it takes away the power of your creative voice, it weakens the spirit of freedom that your Art form should creatively reflect.

I think the costumes while pretty reflect this Achilles heel.

If Carnival Art is a reflection of the people who created it and what they know, and the God that gave them its gift. Then the ingredients that this gift comprises of should be limitless, like the potential of the people that create this Art, and the Power of the God that created them and the gift of creativity.
If Carnival Art is an expression of Freedom, then remove the shackles of Sequins, and gems, feathers and braids that deny us the freedom creativity reflects. Let your designers open their imaginations to the heavens and understand that our abilities are as limitless as God’s Heavens.


Overall I think M2K’s 2010 NHC presentation is a good one not great good, ‘safe’ on the road the band will become a different creature, but will it be the 2010 band of the year?
We will see.

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