from many sides, teaser. Single channel video with sound (10min.)
Olivia McGilchrist’s art is characterized by convergence and interaction, which cancel out any need for upholding the purity of one medium (… ) Her acts of blurring the lines between each medium do not impede efforts at seeing but rather unlock the potential for greater clarity of vision and deeper insight to the many threads that comprise the tissue of living, moving and having our being in the [Caribbean] archipelago and its Diaspora.
Marsha Pearce, ARC Magazine Issue 8 (October 2013)
My practice tackles these issues by creating work that challenges the Western notion of progress (and power) that never looks back using the new audio visual space of immersive & embodied technology such as Virtual Reality and it’s unchartered “magic of presence” .
Since 2014, I’ve been investigating the possibilities offered by Virtual Reality within my experimental media arts practice at the intersections of research/ technology / education, as a compelling portal to our ‘prise de conscience’ of Édouard Glissant’s notion of ‘creolisation’, which I see as a pertinent interpretive tool against which to measure the success and limitations of immersive embodied technologies.
Juxtaposition of parallel co-existing realities has become an important and elusive aspect of my work, since returning to live in Jamaica in between 2011-2014. During this time, my alter ego whitey, was created to portray my uncomfortable feelings as a returning visibly white Jamaican in a predominantly black society. whitey’s placement in the Jamaican landscape questions the role of racial, social and gender based categorization, classification and discrimination in the contemporary Caribbean space.
Bio - CV
Olivia McGilchrist (b. 1981, Kingston) is a French-Jamaican visual artist exploring translocation and issues of Caribbean cultural identity by proxy of her alter-ego ‘whitey’s’ placement in the Jamaican landscape.
Questioning the shifting categories in which she belongs, from the female body in a postmodern space to a visibly white postcolonial creole identity, whitey questions the role of racial, social and gender based categorization, classification and discrimination in the contemporary Caribbean space.
Most recently, whitey has not always been present, although the work still focuses on masked figures and the act of masking in Caribbean centered practices.
By juxtaposing parallel realities through photographs, video installations and more recently with virtual reality, elements of the tropical picturesque are re-appropriated, and remapped in the search for her cultural identity.