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Sep 6, 2013

Landings arrives on the Belizean artistic landscape

The Landings Project, a powerful body of work in visual and literary art, was launched in Belize City today.  The repertoire, a product of curator Joan Duran, dates back to 2004 when it was first introduced as the cultural definition of fifteen participating countries.  The latest publication is a volume of essays, quotations, writings and critiques of both art forms. The book is four hundred and sixty-four pages and is a body of work in visual and literary art. Yasser Musa and Joan Duran teamed up for this latest publication. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Landings 2000/2010, packaged and made available to art enthusiasts as the Container Collection, was formally presented to the public this morning at the SJC Gymnasium.  The volume, a joint effort between Joan Duran and Yasser Musa, focuses on art and creative expressions from across the Caribbean and Central America.  Art student Kenci Cornejo is visiting Belize and has been studying the works of both artists.

 

Kenci Cornejo

Kenci Cornejo, Art Student, Duke University

“I study art and politics and visual culture from the entire region, Central America.  And usually Belizean art is left out of that conversation, right.  And we’ve always been asking why because it encompasses so many issues in terms of the Caribbean, in terms of the decolonization process, in terms of the politics, social and political issues, dealing either with race, with class, throughout the whole spectrum.  I think it is so much a part of all of Central America that I don’t see how it can be disconnected.  And it also ties very much to the Caribbean, the islands.”

 

The four hundred and sixty-four page book is described by its publishers as a piece of art that is steeped in literature and images from a plethora of young visual artists, authors and philosophers from across the region.

 

Yasser Musa

Yasser Musa, Co-publisher, Landings

“I will use a word that will sound like an old ancient word but I look at this book as an artifact and the way we go to the museum and look at an artifact it immediately projects another sense of thinking.  It immediately orients us to who made this?  What is this all about? It sparks curiosity and we are hoping that this book, because its contents, four hundred and sixty-five pages involving the photos, the images, the text, the writings of over a hundred writers, artists and thinkers that we are hoping that by putting it into one box, one container, that we will be creating that spark that younger, especially younger people will be able to open it and read it.”

 

The opus, according to Cornejo, embodies the free spirit through actions, thoughts, writings, provocations and encounters.  More so, it epitomizes culture, politics and other social constructs.

 

Kenci Cornejo

“This project is one of the projects that I feel has been the most critical towards art institutions, towards the colonization of art in the way that we think and visual thinking and I feel it is one of the biggest efforts to delink from that kind of thinking and to insert a narrative from this perspective, including the voices of many of the artists that have been participating in many of these projects.”

 

Musa says the idea is for readers and art lovers to digest the content of the publication in the artistic space in which it is being presented.

 

Yasser Musa

“The effort we are pushing, we have arrived at a new signpost which is this big book, the Landings book but we are placing it in the context that we call the Container Collection because like any container the question always is are we unloading or are we offloading and in a way we are doing both.  We are putting new knowledge, new ideas about art and culture into this container but we want people to offload it and learn for themselves and carry on.”

 

The book will also be launched on Saturday at the Image Factory in Belize City. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Copies of the publication will be made available at the Image Factory in Belize City.

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