6 November 2021–20 January 2022
The opening takes place on 6 November 2021 and the exhibition is on view through 20 January 2022.
Visit this page to learn more about the opening program and how to visit.
Casco Art Institute in partnership with Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund 2020/2021 is proud to present Den tur circumstancia nos lo sigi move (Under all circumstances we will continue to move) by Curaçao- and Netherlands-based artist collective Family Connection. The group exhibition consisting of vibrant, mixed-media artworks departs from a 1983 video report of the Antilliaanse Carnival in Utrecht made by then art student Rudsel Martinus. Seated, he speaks directly into the camera, stressing the importance of keeping the Caribbean communal memory of Carnival alive. He voices his warning in Papiamentu – the Spanish and Portuguese-based creole language spoken in the Dutch Caribbean – implying a deep connection to traditions of marronage (process of extricating oneself from slavery) and refusal. Now an artist and part of the family collective, Martinus shared this material with his nephew Quinsy Gario in 2019, and this exhibition, titled after the epilogue to the recording, is the collective’s response.
After studying the video report and its historical position as well as the broader development of Carnival in the Caribbean, Family Connection presents a collection of artworks that speak of generational solidarity and revolutionary actions. In the unearthing of stories that lay dormant, the members look at the Black Caribbean craftsmanship involved in producing Carnival costumes, the choreography of the masses in public space, the genealogies of the soundscapes that inspire movement, and the historical poetics involved that came to the fore in organizing the Carnival in Utrecht.
The collective repoliticizes playing mas (short for “masquerade” and its associated performance) and the event’s function in Utrecht during the severe economic recession in Netherlands in the early 1980s, in the same city where 270 years earlier imperial European powers negotiated colonial occupation and slavery. Through this exhibition, Family Connection wants to contribute to local municipal memory and invites the city to continue to remember that which is not found in the city archives. Together the collective demonstrates tales of perseverance and how craftsmanship contains a healing potential.
Family Connection shares an appreciation for Dutch Caribbean student diaspora communities, a celebration of diasporic homemaking practices, and an amplification of communal aesthetics. The work on display is a result of that collaborative investigation and consists of work by Rudsel Martinus, Glenda Martinus, Gala Martinus, Quinsy Gario, Jörgen Gario, Caldron Lewis and Whitney Lewis. Family Connection was started by sisters Glenda and Gala Martinus in 2005 and continues to involve different members of the family. Recently they presented work as part of Positions #5 at Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) where they reflected on the ways the 1969 uprising in Curaçao is remembered and shared.
Image description: a person is facing the camera, holding a drink, while others are with their sides and backs towards us taking part in a parade. Credit: Film still from Carnival 1983 in Utrecht, and the author is Rudsel Martinus