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Jan 14, 2009

Landings 9 released; artist says 8 was the best

Story PictureAnd on the cultural scene, the Landings Project is an expressive, but complex repertoire of art work that defines the identity of fifteen countries from the Caribbean, Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula. There have been eight previous Landings going back to 2004, and today, the long awaited ninth edition of the ten series collection was launched at the Image Factory. Landings Nine is the documentation of essays, quotations, writings and critiques of the photographs from book eight that were exhibited in Taipei, Taiwan in May of 2008.

Joan Duran, Curator, Landings Project
“A book is something that you best enjoy it and the best use of it is when you are alone, when you have it, you read it with lots of light or dim light or something. So I’m not going to talk about the book for what it is. Maybe it’s best to talk about what is not in the book that at one point it was suppose to be. And I’m going to put it in simple words; Landings eight that we were so happy to stage in Tapei back in May, June and July last year, was in many ways the climax of the project because no matter how good we are and no matter how much experience we keep acquiring, we will never do within the landings project a better exhibition, we will never have a better experience of what it is to create objects keeping in mind that this is not only for our own satisfaction, but for the enjoyment and enrichment of some other crowd, some other country, people from all across the world.”

Yasser Musa, Director, Image Factory
“Today, we are happy to say that the book you have in your hand is both a reflection of that event that occurred here in Belize but also—and JD will talk about it in more detail—it’s also the end of this large artistic endeavour that we undertook in May of 2004.”

Duane Moody
“The landings Project: if a Belizean is to look into one of these books, are they going to get an idea or see a replica of what the Belizean identity is or regional identity is?”

Yasser Musa
“I think it will go beyond identity. These books should show what the young people—when I say young I mean between twenty and forty—of a certain period of time were their individual arts; the ideas that they had, the thoughts, the visual process that was going. We obviously live in a very visual society, a digital society so in a way it is ironic that we have put so much emphasis on the book because it’s such a permanent object and we live in such a transient culture. But the short answer to your question is yes, you will get a sense that this is what Belizean artists were about in this time. This is what the Caribbean, Central America, Yucatan; this is what the thoughts were of the time and I think its very reflective of that.”

At the launch of the book, Curator Joan Duran showcased why art is defined as abstract and contradictory. Duran says, the book is the most mediocre in the project, but collectively, the public will love them all.
The last book of the collection, Landings Ten, can be expected by the middle of this year.

But that was only one event at the Image Factory and Director Yasser Musa says there is plenty in store for the year ahead.

Yasser Musa
“The image factory has been here since 1995, so this is our fourteenth year, but we are trying to combine all the things that we have been doing which is documenting—as you can see, this book is a good example of that—exhibiting and participating in the community with art. We feel at the Image Factory that it is so important that art education becomes institutionalized. Yes, it’s on paper that the Ministry of Education says you should be teaching art. But it is our hope that in the next ten years, like mathematics, like English, like science, like Spanish, art is a part of the curriculum and it is formalized that you have a period for art. But that can’t come about if we don’t take responsibility as well. When I say we I mean art educators. So in collaboration with the art centre and organizations like the Belize District Principals Association, we will come together first in a kind of a summit to discuss what needs to be done; if it’s a curriculum, a better guide that the teachers need, if it’s more training that they need, if its resources that they need. What is it that we can do? But we have to take the responsibility and I believe that within the next year we can make a great impact in moving towards the formalization of art education.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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