Olivia McGilchrist in collaboration with Jean Small: Otherness

Multimedia video installation

November 6th – December 19th 2015
Opening on Friday November 6th

Project Description

otherness is an ongoing collaborative body of work between Jean Small, a Guyanese-Jamaican eighty year old actress, playwright and traditional storyteller and Olivia McGilchrist, a French-Jamaican thirty-four year old visual artist working in photography, video and interactive media.

This installation attempts to interpret the physicality of post-colonial bodies through a filmed and re-configured live performance. Since 2013, Jean and Olivia have been exploring the re-appropriation of the foreign other body through physical gesture and sound. This collaboration is driven by the attempt to map out the tension between conflicted ideas and emotions surrounding notions of the other.

Inspired by Jean Paul Sartre’s 1944 play ‘Huis Clos’ (No Exit) the piece embodies contested cultural narratives, which are troubled and re-invented by juxtaposing a mimed interaction over two facing screens. Created in the Caribbean, this work can become relevant in the wider Diasporic context of the Americas.

For Skol, this installation has been set in context with several adjoining pieces in different media which are part of the larger body of work; giving a broader view of the artist’s creative directions.


Image credits: McGilchrist, Otherness, video still, 2014

Photos: Guy L’Heureux


Interpretive resources provided by the artist

drama-documentary / filmed interviews & presentations
Akomfrah, John. The Stuart Hall Project. London: British Film Institute, 2014. DVD.

Braithwaite, Kamau, “My poetry”, a presentation at IDB, Washington, DC. December 6 1996. YouTube stream. Web.

Chevallier, Laurent and Hasse, Laurent, Aimé Césaire, Un Nègre Fondamental. Paris: France 5 collection “Empreintes”, 2007. DVD. & partial YouTube stream. Web.

Goodman, Amy. Interview with Okwui Enwezor. “Art, Politics & ‘All the World’s Futures’: Okwui Enwezor, First African Curator of Venice Biennale”. Democracynow.org. 11 August 2015. YouTube stream. Web.

Julien, Isaac, Franz Fannon: Black Skin, White Mask. UK: Arts Council England & BBC. 2006. DVD

Nakamura, Lisa. “5 Types of Online Racism and Why You Should Care”.TedX Illinois presentation. University of Illinois: independently organised TED event, 2011. YouTube stream. Web.

Wise, Tim. White Like Me, Race, Racism & White Privilege in America. Media Education Foundation. USA. 2013. Vimeo.com stream. Web.

articles / interviews / book reviews
Burnard, Trevor. “Jamaica as America, America as Jamaica, Hauntings from the Past in Vincent Brown’s The Reaper’s Garden.” Small Axe 31. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010. Print

Diawara, Manthia. “Conversation with Édouard Glissant aboard the Queen Mary II (August 2009).” Afro Modern: journeys through the black Atlantic. Ed. Tanya Barson & Peter Gorschlüter. Liverpool: Tate Liverpool, 2010. Print.

Paul, Annie. “Towards the next conjecture. Review of The Stuart Hall project, directed by John Akomfrah”. The Caribbean Review of Books No.30. Trinidad. November 2013. Print.

Schwartz, Mattathias. “A massacre in Jamaica, After the US demanded the extradition of a drug lord, a bloodletting ensued”. The New Yorker. 12 Dec. 2011. Web.

Virtue, Grace. “Black Lives Matter”. The Jamaica Observer. 9 Dec. 2014. Web.

art & cultural theory / fiction
Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds, Ed. Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester, and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, New Haven and London: Yale Centre for British Art/Yale University Press, 2007. Print

Gardner, Joscelyn. Re-presenting Creole Identity: theorizing a (white) postcolonial creole feminism. www.jocelyngardner.com. Web.

Gilroy, Paul. The Crisis of Race and Raciology in The Cultural Studies Reader, Third Edition. ed. Simon During. London: Routledge. 2007. Print

Hall, Stuart. Cultural Identity and Diaspora. London: Laurence & Wishart, 1990. Print.

Levy, Andrea. The Long Song. New York: Picador, 2011. Print.

Llenin-Figueroa, Carmen-Beatriz. Imagined Islands: A Caribbean Tidalectics. Durham: Duke University PhD in Litterature Dissertation, 2012. Print.

Metz, Christian. “Photography and Fetish” The Critical Image: Essays in Contemporary Photography. Ed. Carol Squiers, Seattle: Bay Press, 1990. Print

Minh-ha, Trinh T. Woman, Native, Other. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989. Print.

Thompson, Krista. “On Masking and Performance Art in the Postcolonial Caribbean” Caribbean Art at the Crossroads of the World. Ed. Deboran Cullen and Elvis Fuentes, New York : El Museo del Barrio ; New Haven, [Conn.] : In association with Yale University

Wainwright, Leon. Timed Out, Art and the Transnational Caribbean, Manchester University Press, 2011, Print