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New Local Space Limited, Kingston, Jamaica
May 18, 2019 – June 1, 2019
New Local Space (NLS) presented The Golden Fantasy, a solo exhibition of tapestries and video work by Oneika Russell.
In her current body of work shown at New Local Space (NLS), Kingston, Jamaica, Oneika Russell uses the theoretical framework of the The Golden Fantasy to unpack the representation of the Caribbean identity as exotic lands that serve fantasies of escapism. The work is a continuation of explorations Russell has been developing since her previous bodies of work A Natural History and Postcard preservation.
Russell aims to challenge the viewer not only to reflect on notions about representation of the culture and space of the Caribbean from Western hegemonic spaces but also the degree to which the Jamaican body performs to support flattened ideas about paradisal and exotic lands, specifically how the Caribbean markets itself as a commodity of subject/object fantasies.
Russell utilises various processes ranging from handcraft to digital media in a search to describe the hybridity and fragmented nature of a Caribbean experience impacted by tourism. Visually reworking the compositions of tourism paraphernalia, film, comics, literature, catalogues and found objects Russell revises the visual culture that supports the paradise industry and commodification of bodies, giving the viewer opportunities to arrive at truths emerging about the subject. The work included in the exhibition incorporate pieces made during Russell’s time at the Caribbean Linked residency in Aruba and continued in her studio in Kingston, Jamaica.
Oneika Russell received a diploma in Painting from The Edna Manley College in Jamaica. She completed a DA in Interactive Media at Goldsmiths College in London and a PhD in Film, Video & Media Art at Kyoto Seika University in Japan. Russell has completed residencies at Post-Museum in Singapore, Vermont Studio Centre in Vermont and most recently Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn, NY. Major exhibitions include Jamaican Pulse at The Royal West of England Academy, UK; The 2017 & 2014 Jamaica Biennial, Kingston; At the Crossroads: Critical Film and Video from the Caribbean at Perez Museum of Art Miami and the 2018 DAKAR Biennial, Senegal.
New Local Space Limited (NLS) is a contemporary visual art initiative and micro-gallery in Kingston, Jamaica. NLS supports the work of visual artists committed to breaking new ground in their work, builds and connects new audiences to these artists, and links these artists to the global contemporary art community. We provide the public with a platform for experimental exhibitions, artist residencies, and a meeting place for new ideas and cutting edge approaches to art. NLS’ programming is an open international cultural forum grounded in the spirit of experimentation, and collaboration. The organisation operates out of a 200 sq ft garage turned white box and its 800 sq ft outdoor space, as well as through curatorial initiatives with international art spaces, and through online programming.