Performance in Trinidad

Posted in Opinion, Trinidad and Tobago by Adele Todd on November 6, 2007

Michelle Asava’s performance at Alice Yard, Trinidad,West Indies

The artist is young and energetic, and I have known her for many years. I met her as a child at art classes, where I taught drawing more than a decade ago. I found then, that she and three other children had wonderful potential and I spoke with them at the end of the programme and suggested that we keep in touch. I also gave them all some advice about how to continue to work at their passion. Two of the children have kept in touch with me, as she has. Only one other wanted to pursue Art. Of all of these young people, Michelle is undoubtedly the most exciting. She has been working in several media. She paints, she draws and now she does performance.

TheBookmann sent me a short film of Michelle’s this week, and I was very pleased to see how well thought out it was. She did a performance where she filmed herself inside a box. You can see her fidgeting in the enclosed space. Her eyes are wide open and she looks clearly uncomfortable. You find yourself unable to look away, because you become instantly engaged with her searching eyes, her breathing and her movement. Ever so often a light comes on in the place she is lying in, and you are faced with another level of understanding, because the surroundings now become part of the illusion. The film of what is going on inside the box is done in a fuzzy blue, so it seems as though she is having this experience through an old fashioned television monitor. This lack of colour reminds one of the past, and so, her image, though happening in real time, has a sense of deja vu.

Asava has been doing alot of work without the perceived restrictions of gallery space or funding, and I am very pleased to see where she shall go next.


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