Grenada at TRIO Bienal, Brazil

by Susan Mains

Following the monumental stride made by Grenada’s first appearance at the Biennale di Venezia, artists Susan Mains and Asher Mains have been chosen for the TRIO Bienal, an international art exhibit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Beginning on 5 September and continuing until 26 November 2015, this exhibition will display an international array of three-dimensional art. Joining these artists from Grenada will be Giuseppe Linardi who was an Italian guest artist in the Grenada National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

The TRIO Bienal is an international exhibition of contemporary art around the 3-dimensional in this classic scope — sculpture, installations and objects — as well as in all its expanded fields — painting, photography, drawing, video and other media as 3-dimensional research, and will occupy several museums and cultural institutions in Rio de Janeiro. The overarching theme of the Bienal is “Who Said Tomorrow Doesn’t Exist?” and is curated by Marcus de Lontra Costa.

Asher Mains will be shown in the Centro Cultural Parque das Ruínas under the theme of “Gravity — Equilibrium and Balance”. The work being exhibited was seen in the Grenada Contemporary Exhibit put on by the Grenada Arts Council in September of 2014. It is an installation of images sprayed onto sailcloth with silhouettes of sea fans representing the life of the figures as well as our relation to the sea. The piece is called “Sea Lungs” and reflects a personal glimpse from the reefs’ perspective contemplating their own demise.

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The multi-media/mixed media work of Susan Mains is rooted in her own personal experience, as well as in a deep commitment to the physical environment of Grenada. The video projected onto a bed-like platform shows a tropical flower impressed on the back of a female form. A strong heliconia, its rigid forms becomes a scaffold for the healing of a spine. Suddenly an x-ray with titanium screws appears in an actual spine, the metaphor exposing itself. The bed is made up of crocus bags, those used in the agricultural sector to transport cocoa and nutmeg. Spices, grown in Grenada, also surround the image.

The installation begs the question, “what if”. What if these natural forms could replace the surgical knife to heal a broken spine? What if human cells could be taught to imitate the stem cell differentiation demonstrated in the helconia flower. What if tomorrow could be better by honouring what is already in our hands. Susan’s work will be shown under the theme of “Utopia – Preterites of Contemporarity” and will share exhibition space with well-known artists such as Los Carpentiros, and Vik Muniz.

This exhibition opportunity was made possible by the executive director of the TRIO Bienal, Alexandre Murucci who visited the Grenada National Pavilion in Venice before submitting the work to his own curatorial committee. This on going exposure for Grenada’s art is a reflection of the efforts made by Grenada, its artists and sponsors in representing Grenada on the international art scene. The transformative and economic power of art is only now beginning to show its power in Grenada.

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