Artist and activist Quinsy Gario focuses his work on decolonial remembering and on the actions that such remembering can engender. His work weaves together historical facts and personal accounts through performances, storytelling and writing, with the aim of deconstructing the grand narratives underlying hegemonic discourses on race, identity, gender and origin.
At Kunsthal Gent he presents his new performance video "Tracing a Memory pt. 2". The piece will be exhibited at Kunsthal Gent and later launched online in June on the website of both The Institute.
After the second world war the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, the Dutch National Information Services, made a series of black and white 35 millimeter sound films about the islands in the Caribbean colonized by the Dutch. In 1948 the resulting films were shown in Dutch film cinema's and presented as examinations of island life. The thoroughly colonial nostalgia presented in the film, as the Dutch were fighting Indonesian independence, is unsettling. In 2019 Quinsy Gario and Glenda Martinus, his mother, traveled to St. Maarten, one of the islands shown in the film, to revisit the locations shown in the segment about the island in the original 1948 film. They then rented a car and retraced the images of the filmmakers using Super 8 film technology. In his performance lecture Gario will be attempting to synchronize the films as he talks about Dutch colonization in the Caribbean, decolonization movements in the Caribbean and contemporary concerns of recolonization.
The performance was developed during a research period at the Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies program in Brussels. The work is supported by the Mondrian Fund, the Van Abbemuseum, the World Museum Rotterdam and the University of St. Maarten.