Aug 23 2011
Sewanee’s University Art Gallery will open the 2011 – 2012 exhibition season on August 30th with Greg Pond’s documentary video installation Born in Trenchtown. The installation weaves together social, architectural, and political histories of the area, allowing Trenchtown residents to tell their own stories. Pond will present his work in an artist’s talk on Friday, September 23rd at 4:30 in the University Art Gallery. A reception will follow. The installation will be on view through October 2nd, 2011. Please note that due to its mature subject matter the installation may not be suitable for young viewers.
Trenchtown has a complex history. Founded by the cousins Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley, the first housing in the district had utopian aspirations. Modeled on communal rural living with shared verandas and courtyards, the initial development housed World War II veterans and rural Jamaicans migrating to Kingston to look for work, and is credited with fostering much of the music and cultural heritage for which Jamaica is known worldwide.
The district’s housing, however, soon became a political tool. In the pursuit of parliamentary seats, further development was designed to accommodate large numbers of political supporters of either the Jamaican Labor Party or the People’s National Party. Designed to serve the needs of those at the highest levels of Jamaican society, newer development no longer provided residents with the same social and cultural opportunities, and was distinctly divided along political lines. Violence between the political gangs of these rival neighborhoods began in 1976 and spread throughout Jamaica. It persists today, in a culture that connects the most impoverished neighborhoods in the capital with the highest levels of power in the government.
Born in Trenchtown unfolds across three screens, and is programmed to create a dynamic experience of the complicated history of the district. Viewers travel the maze of holes in the walls between tenement yards, punched through when it was too dangerous to walk on the streets, consider the conditions that created Trenchtown, and hear the stories of residents. Many of the older inhabitants have witnessed the entire history of the district unfold. The perceptions of younger residents, who did not know the community before the violence started, are markedly different.
The video installation was created in collaboration with Sewanee’s Dixon Myers and Jamaican architect Christopher Whims-Stone. Production, post-production, and editorial contributors include Jesse Thompson, Natalie Baxter, Sam Sanderson, Charlotte Caldwell and Mary Evelyn Pritchard.
Greg Pond’s artistic practice combines sculpture, sound and electronic media. After completing his Bachelor of Arts at the University of the South in 1995, he received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA in 1998. He returned to the University of the South in 1999 as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2002. In 2005 -07 he held the James D. Kennedy III Endowed Faculty Fellowship. In addition to the many awards he has received in support of his teaching, Pond was recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2008 and an Appalachian College Association Fellowship in 2006-07. In 2007 he was artist in residence at the Burren College of Art, in Ballyvaughn, Ireland, and at the F+F School of Art and Media Design, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Pond exhibits frequently in Chattanooga and Nashville, but also nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include STENDEC at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis, the Apothecary in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2010, The Arctic Book Club at the Elizabeth Foundation in New York City and Reflected Territories at the Good Citizen Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri in 2009, A Raising, shown at Ditch Projects in Oregon in 2009 and Userland[s], shown in Sewanee’s University Art Gallery and at the Anderson Gallery in Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 2008. His international profile includes sound installations created in Newtown Castle in Ballyvaughn, Ireland in 2007, participation in group exhibitions in the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival in 2008 and 2009, and screenings at The Banff Center, Banff, Canada, the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival Dublin, Ireland, the TBA festival in Portland, Oregon, the Palace of Fine Arts in Cairo, Egypt and the Ausstellingsraum Klingetall, Basel, Switzerland.
Sewanee’s University Art Gallery is located on Georgia Avenue on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. The gallery is free, accessible, and open to the public. Hours are 10 – 5 Tuesday through Friday and 12 – 4 on Saturday and Sunday. Please call (931) 598-1223 for more information.
One Response to “Greg Pond: Born in Trenchtown August 30th to October 2nd, 2011”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.