Marlon Griffith Artist Residency and Talk

January 2014: Marlon Griffith

Artist Talk: Monday February 3, 7 pm @ The Theatre Centre Pop-Up,

1095 Queen St. West, Toronto

AGYU embarks on another long-term collaborative project, this time with Trinidad-born, Japan-based artist Marlon Griffith. Marlon is in Toronto from January 24 – February 7, 2014, for his first site visit in preparation for a series of residencies over the next two years to develop a new, large-scale street procession in summer 2015 and in fall 2015, a solo exhibition at AGYU.

Beginning his career as a ‘Mas’ man for Carnival, Marlon’s current work derives its form (and to an extent its process) from the performative, participatory, and ephemeral characteristics that derive from Carnival. Griffith’s work is based upon a reciprocal dialogue between ‘Mas’ (the artistic component of the Trinidad Carnival) and contemporary art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience, while interrogating contemporary visual culture outside the traditional pitfalls of representation. Often taking the form of processions, Marlon’s performative actions are stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new images and narratives that respond critically and poetically to our socio-cultural environment.

Marlon will speak about his recent projects in the context of movement, both in the processional sense of bodies-in-motion but also as forms-in-translation. How does the movement of cultural forms from one location to another—for instance from Trinidad to Japan, or Cape Town, or Toronto—or from one context to another— from Carnival to contemporary art—change the meaning and potential of the form itself. How does the migration of forms change the places they move to? Or the contexts they are presented in? How do performative forms of colonial cultural resistance in the America’s engage with other public manifestations of solidarity, such as recent protest movements worldwide?

Recent projects include new commissions for Gwangju (7th Gwanju Biennale, 2008), Cape Town (CAPE09, 2009), MANIFESTA 9 Parallel Projects (Hasselt, Belgium, 2012), and AICHI TRIENNALE (Nagoya, Japan 2013).

Marlon Griffith’s project is curated by AGYU Assistant Director/Curator Emelie Chhangur.