Installation and video collaboration between Christopher Cozier & Richard Fung.
Curated by Andrea Fatona ( Jan 2004)
The Work of Art in an Age of Neocolonial Production
Though they often do not realize it, the West Indians of today cannot afford to go on regarding this region as a tropical estate to be exploited for its economic returns. Whether they like it or not, this is their home. So, we need to face the problems of making the West Indies a more acceptable physical and social environment for ourselves and those who may come after us. Even now, we often have only the vaguest understanding of the true nature of our present ambiguous situation.
Elsa Goveia, Past History and Present Planning in the West Indies (1966)
While delivering the inaugural Walter Rodney Memorial Lecture at Warwick University in October 1991, Stuart Hall made the point that “one of the perplexities of the independence movement certainly in the British Caribbean islands is that … in the early phases of those movements so-called political independence from the colonial power occurred, but the cultural revolution of identity did not.” This apt comment strikes at the heart of the Caribbean post-colonial condition, and questions our periodisation of this era as one of ‘independence’, ‘neocolonial times’, or a ‘postcolonial’ epoch. In what follows, I hope to locate the artwork of Christopher Cozier within a larger problematic – which can be described as the crisis of postcolonial citizenship and identity in the contemporary Caribbean.