Double Dutch brings together artists from the region and diaspora to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange. The project works against ideas of nationalism and the insularity of our creative environs by creating an experimental hub to explore regional and diasporic culture, our creative acumen and sensibilities.
the observer and the observed features work by Jamaican artist Deborah Anzinger and Bahamian artist Heino Schmid, each of them exploring ideas around representation, the body and how the gaze in effect changes ideas of relation, security, eroticism and social awareness.
Anzinger and Schmid are using this moment of encounter to reconsider how their interdisciplinary practices meet and what affinities and or differences rise to the surface during this moment of interplay. Both use a variety of material including living organisms, synthetic substances, drawing, sculpture and video to play with ideas of marginalisation and threshold.
Anzinger’s practice focuses on the ways in which exercises in the body and space embrace an exploration of self and other, the subject and the object. Doing this she is also examining agency and the black female body; its politics and social placement. In her newest work Autumn Anzinger explores the discomfort and tension between looking and being seen, in a confrontational and candid conversation with several male subjects. Here Anzinger explores intimacy within a gendered context, reconsidering power relations that offer many contradictions in comparison to our lived experiences.
Schmid, in turn, is concerned with the development of narrative through materiality and the reconsideration of personal stories within a public forum. Using the white cube to further his investigation with abstraction; Schmid uses scale, body morphisms and the collision between the built environment in conjunction with Anzinger’s work, to comment on how the male body is read, not only within the annals of art history but the actual working space of the studio-cum-exhibition space.
These microenvironments are analysed within the incubator, the subtleties and gestures within them subverted, creating a playground for both artists to examine masculinity and femininity in hyper-subjective and nuanced ways. In this interplay, the navigation between bodies and lived environment becomes a spectator sport; the physical, gendered and spiritual, dance in the act of social penetration.
Deborah Anzinger (b. 1978) lives and works Kingston, Jamaica. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Royal West of England Academy (Bristol, UK), the National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston, Jamaica), the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (NY), the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad), Transformer (Washington, D.C.), Arlington Art Center (Arlington, VA) and Civilian Art Projects (Washington, D.C.). Her work has been reviewed in the Washington Post, Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer and the New York Times. In 2016 she was awarded a fellowship to study at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Heino Schmid (b. 1976) received a BFA in Photography from The Savannah College of Art and Design, USA in 2003 and a Master of Fine Art from The Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, The Netherlands in 2006. Selected exhibitions include Show Off, w/ Tessa Whitehead, LeandaKateLouise London, UK (2014); Volta NY (2013) New York, NY; Material and Sculpture, Liquid Courage Gallery (2013); Into the Mix, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville USA (2012); Wrestling with the Image, Art Museum of Americas, Washington, USA (2011).
Double Dutch supporters argue that the concept of bringing local, regional and diasporic based artists together to work with a group of ideas personal, political and otherwise is crucial to the development of a contemporary Bahamian identity. These artists are often divided linguistically and geographically but united by common historical, economic or practice-based conditions. For this reason, the project attempts to create and maintain ties throughout the Caribbean, the wider diaspora, with the NAGB as pilot and conduit.
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is committed to engaging the history of Bahamian art and visual culture and supporting contemporary movements and experimental art practice through programming and community development.