The View from (T)here (2017)

The View from (T)here examines the interconnections between Caribbean landscape, colonialism, capitalism and visual culture. It challenges the first-world construct of paradise, which has been imposed upon the Caribbean through tourism, rendering the region into a homogenous space disconnected from time. Contesting the dominant construct, this body of artwork re-presents landscape, and its metaphors, through strategies of story-telling, ambiguity and repetition; using photography, sound, video and installation. The View from (T)here attempts to symbolically reclaim the landscape and re-negotiate subjectivity, while implicating the viewer as active participants to put into question the power dynamics between north and south.


The View from (T)here
Photo Installation: digital photograph, chairs

Made in _______ 
nstallation: sponges, shelf, paint, broom, dustpan, cutter, paint

North Point
Digital Photography

Passage from One Place to Another
nstallation: TTC transfers, thread, photograph

Fiction (the last fifty acres)
Sound Installation

Welcome to Barbados / Back on the Rock

Traverse (2017)
Looped video

A Walk Through A View from (T)here

The View from (T)here 
(a poetic response)

Made in _______
warmer climes, basking in the sun, lying on the beach
palm trees just like you imagined them on islands dotting the Caribbean sea
the lure of the blue
Blue South Sea, code PR 16E30 from Canadian Tire to be exact
perfect, isn’t it?
sponges like little islands across a horizon, but wait, nuh… theyse does be real different doh…
different size
different texture
different shape

- - open

enter, my friend, enter into (t)here

- - close

leftover sea sponges, cut offs, remnants, a paper model palm tree, a cutter, swept into
the corner
the construction
of the construct apparent
behind the scenes
you only have to look
the fantasy is provided for you. One has to work, you know
but if you look, if you dare, then
don’t you see
the cracks

Passage from One Place to Another
a hammock, ahhhhh you could lie there all day
but, can you?
deep blue strings interwoven delicately together
like spun sky or threads of the Barbadian flag
TTC transfers
oh yes, work, the daily grind, back and forth, to and from, day in and day out, paying the bills
I bought my ticket
later, the credit card bill is for later, for now I am going to concentrate on
my week in paradise
but maybe this is not paradise, maybe this is home, maybe one day I can earn enough money to go back home, oh how i miss
home? beach? lying on the beach in the hot sun? no way, my idea of paradise is
the hustle and bustle, action, I say!
whose reality is paradise? doesn’t that depend on your point of view?

North Point
figure / sky
ground / land
figure / land
ground / sky

north? or south?
which is which, do you understand?
maybe the blue ground you stand on is the dark sky
maybe the world is upside down
or maybe not
cloud comes before cliff comes after sky
vibrating boundaries come forward and go back
blue sky
white clouds that jump out
blue ground
dark cliffs
shade from the sun
night sky
at the border of the blue cliff

The View from (T)here
there are two seasons in Toronto
winter and patio
or so they say
but island time is always island time
oh really, is that so?
according to who? to you? to those who say
those bodies need disciplining that is what they said
still today?
does yours? as you, I, sit in the hot summer Toronto air
but I sit here
and there
so is my time island time?
or patio time?
do you judge me? or honey
skin that does not fit into those bodies that you imagine
confront your mind as you face the old repurposed couch
riotous green like Carr’s Church
surrounds us
as I,
we lime away

- - step up

sound permeates, penetrates, infiltrates, impregnates
is it here or there?

- - stop and listen

“everything is too much”
Jean Rhys you write just so
“too much green”
but there is no green
“too much red”
but there is no red
this room is full
full of sound
the green, the red is in the air around
frogs engulf, their sound incessant
birds call, tweet, chirp, insects respond
this is fiction
Fiction (the last 50 acres)
50 acres that is all that remains after centuries of the king, king sugar that is
does that sound cultivated?
“go cut a whip for me”
Rhys, Naipal, James and Springer
I use their words to evoke
you cannot see but you can imagine but
what exactly are you imagining?
with no beginning, middle nor end, I claim my right to opacity
to story-telling that is allowed to grow and evolve, that tells truth but tells nothing at all
but nothing is always something when everything has been so carefully categorized
with a swift glance, north looks south and claims to understand

Passage from One Place to Another
a room between two others
like the Caribbean Sea
that connects the islands one to another
like the Caribbean Sea
that disconnects the islands one to another
the sign is there
it marks the spot
at Dufferin Station

- - step through

Ahhh! but wait, ya finally reach
a space created
rum shop
we drink
we lime, a space of belonging, of longing, where all discussions are on the table
shite talk, thick accents - politics, economy, religion, sex
around and around it goes
but don’t fool yourself
we meet, we greet

Welcome to Barbados
(said the spider to the fly)
Now you are back on the rock,
affectionate, claustrophobic
claustrophobic, affectionate
paradise is presented, not a care in the world
but access to paradise, the beach that is
what was window
now a narrow passage from here to there
hotel then villa then hotel then villa
Mighty Gabby said it back then
“de beach belong to we”

the foundation reveals itself
on a shelf

Traverse the sea
but is it from here to there or from there to here?
the eye tricks
rocking motions mesmerize, draws you in
traverse, inverse, reverse
same same but different
isn’t that always the case

dance, I say, dance!
that is what I can do
what is that?
you don’t see me
check yourself
does my name throw you?
or is it the white-
ness wukkin’ and winin’ up
just so

Alexandra Majerus, April 20th, 2017

Magic Pony Gallery
2104 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON

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