As a component of the National Exhibition 8, the PS Room will house three special projects starting with Jeffrey Meris' "Asue" 20/20" from January 21 through February 12, 2017.
"Asue: 20/20" is a series of participatory objects, experiences and interventions that reposition both site and function of an artwork. Drawing from the Yorubic tradition, Meris invited nineteen people throughout New Providence to interchange objects in response to a prompt or an object he creates. Much like an economic asue, each week one person receives all twenty objects created/exchanged until the cycle is completed and all twenty participants have received an item. This cultural practice of communal saving is quickly dissipating from The Bahamas and the Caribbean Diaspora.
In "Asue: 20/20", Meris exams the cultural institution while simultaneously building bridges that technology is distancing. The work is also positioned in relation to blackness, as the practice of Asue was a form of cultural resistance (re)formed in response to slavery and the aftermath, which prohibited blacks from saving money in banks. "Asue: 20/20" acts as a laboratory and a continuum of Meris’ philosophy in creating participatory work, which decentralizes the artist as genius. Over the duration of the Eight National Exhibition, "Asue: 20/20" will rotate in installation to reflect the weekly interchange of objects.
Jeffrey Meris is a Nassau based artist born in 1991. Meris received an Associates of Art in Arts and Crafts from the College of The Bahamas and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in May 2015. Meris is the recipient of 2010 Popopstudios Junior Residency Award, 2012 Harry C Moore Lyford Cay Foundation Art Scholarship and Temple University 2012 Scholar Award, winner of 2013 Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Guttenberg Arts Artist in Residence 2016. Meris has shown locally and internationally in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vienna and Haiti. Jeffrey Meris is the black power ranger.