“The eye of another was a kind of cage. When it saw you the lid came down, and you were trapped.”
- George Lamming, “In the Castle of My Skin,” 1953.
There isn’t too much in this world that is more unsettling and damaging than walking through Bridgetown and being stared out of place.
“Lookalook” documents a live performative walk in Bridgetown, Barbados, using masquerade to characterise and personify the violence and (dis)possession experienced in being looked at (or in Barbadian terms, the incarnation of a ‘stinklook’). ‘Stinklook’ and ‘cut-eye’ are quintessentially Barbadian (and Caribbean) behaviours, and Lookalook, itself, is a monster giving these behaviours a sense of mythology.
The Caribbean region and the self-image of its citizenry has always been held under and shaped by the projections, desires and fears of the colonial and now touristic gazes. It is only since the independence era that documents of ‘looking back’ and resisting these gazes have started surfacing.
The video documents the procession of Lookalook, overlaid with a (mostly) voiceless subtitle track, drifting between the character’s internal monologue and some of the verbal responses presented by the Bajan public.
The work was documented by Logan C Thomas, a Barbadian photographer.
This video was selected as part of the 2018 LADA Screens Open Call.
Adam Patterson is a Barbadian visual artist and writer based in Barbados and London. He completed his BA (Hons) Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2017. His work emerges from imagining strategies of resistance in the face of neo-colonial encounters and desires that affect Barbados and the Caribbean region. Regarding the processes by which ‘paradise’ shapes the Caribbean, the artist is invested in subverting the lens and language of such, in service to the region’s self-image. His work has been exhibited at Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, London and he participated in “Sonic Soundings / Venice Trajectories,” a sound art project coordinated with the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. He has contributed to panel presentations at the “Caribbean Diasporic Dialogues” conferences at Goldsmiths University and the British Library.
Logan C Thomas is a photographer who developed a background in fashion and portrait photography while working in his homeland, Barbados. In 2010 he moved to the United States to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography.
About LADA Screens
LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives.
Each screening will be available to view for a limited time only, and will be launched with a live event at our space in Bethnal Green, London. Online art magazine, thisistomorrow will also feature the films on their website for the duration of the screenings.
LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.
For more information about LADA Screens please contact Alex Eisenberg.
The LADA Screens Open call 2018 is an annual programme which invites submissions of existing videos or films to show online as part of LADA Screens. Please sign up to our newsletter to be kept updates on future opportunities.