In “Orientation” (2014) Sonia examines the business of tourism in the Caribbean. The fragments of text broadcast on an LED screen above the entrance to the gallery space were crafted from mistranslated interviews with people involved in the tourism industry. Captured and amplified by the screen, the piece is both authoritative and desperate, asking its viewers to consider, through language in turn bizarre, unsettling, amusing, and poignant, our equally curious existence in the service industry.
The piece was exhibited as part of the Seventh National Exhibition at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas under the theme “Antillean: An Ecology”. Curators of NE7: Antillean, Michael Edwards and Holly Bynoe, stated that:
“…Complexities of the modern notions of Blackness, Whiteness, and the in between will be interrogated to consider how these markers have been manifested socially, politically, culturally and economically. We invite artists to investigate, within a broad disciplinary field and through various mediums, the impact and implications of the dynamic relationships that have been forged by the passage of time, and issues arising out of race, ethnicity and its contemporary discourse.
To do this, we look towards citizenship, migration, the landscape, collective traumas, slavery, Indentureship, trade, racial delineations, the hybrid and rhizome; we look at things that have shaped our identities. We consider the imagination, memory, language and mythologies and how they offer a critical space to intersect with stereotypes that are deeply ingrained in our social fabric about personal and public personas…”
Read more about NE:7 here.
Gratitude extended Jackson Petit for these photos and for his patient technical assistance in making this piece a reality.