Read an excerpt of the piece below, and view the full article on ARTVIEWs Aruba here:
Caribbean Linked IV 2016. Part 1, Building the Bridge
CARIBBEAN LINKED is a residency program & exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation (Aruba, 1989), in collaboration with Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados, 2012) and ARC Magazine (2011). These three founding organizations select Caribbean artists to participate in a 3-week project, during which the participants live in arranged accommodations, work in designated art studio spaces, go on local tours, present their work to others, and create a final exhibition for the local public.
The founders describe their main goal as follows: “The driving force behind Caribbean Linked is the desire to connect the Caribbean region through the arts and to dissolve boundaries between the islands, whether they be linguistic, geographical or cultural. By highlighting what binds us rather than what separates us, this program aims to plant the seeds of long term relationships that will strengthen and promote the growth of a healthy, unified cultural ecosystem in the Caribbean”.
From a historical perspective it’s important to note that, in this exact same sense, this project follows other earlier local and regional initiatives such as the CaribNet for the performing arts, co-founded during the 1997 Aruba International Dance Festival created by Aruban dance performer, choreographer and educator Wilma Kuiperi-Jansen. These organizations brought, among the cream of the crop from all over the world, many professional Caribbean dance companies, teachers, critics and lecturers to the Aruban stage. In a similar way the Aruba Theatre Festival promoted regional participation during many, many years, and both events successfully put Aruba on the cultural world map.
Although discontinued for lack of governmental visionary and sustainable cultural policies, these past cultural events must be credited with the current acceptance and development of contemporary art forms on Aruba. Today, in the footsteps of the still unequalled Carib Art Project (Unesco, 1993) the spirit of a continued effort to build the Caribbean cultural bridge has imbued the visual arts and projects such as Caribbean Linked, using a different artistic language and targeting different creatives.
This fourth edition of Caribbean Linked brings together relatively young visual artists (averaging 20 to 30 years of age) from 13 Caribbean countries. Artviews has attended some of their presentations, but the main focus of this review is on the final art exhibition inaugurated on Sunday August 21st at Ateliers ’89. The review is based mainly on the visual/technical merits and the titles of the works as they are presented in the exhibition, without being influenced by lengthy theoretical explanations by the authors of the works. Artviews’ point of departure is to present a means of dealing with works of art from a non-insider viewer perspective. Biographical information is based on the official Caribbean Linked site texts and artist’s websites. Almost all of the works in the show have conceptual, found-object, installation and multidisciplinary art roots. For the background on this development, see Artviews’ Writing as Art: Avantia Damberg and the Aruba Residency article.
Read the full article here.