Nine Caribbean artists and two curators are engaged in a large-scale, long range project described as:
a pioneering exploration of the influences of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Conceived around a series of nine commissioned performances realized during the 2014 Caribbean Carnival season across eight cities in six different countries, the exhibition considers the connections between Carnival and performance, masquerade and social criticism, diaspora and transnationalism. Taking its title from a pun on “Mas” (short for masquerade and synonymous with carnival in the English-speaking Caribbean), EN MAS’ considers a history of performance that does not take place on the stage or in the gallery but rather in the streets, addressing not the few but the many.
Some of these performances have already taken place and these and related events are being archived on the EN MAS’ website hosted by Independent Curators International (ICI). The project is co-organized with the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, where the tour of the completed exhibition will begin in March 2015. The project is curated by Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson. The nine artists involved are: John Beadle, Mario Benjamin, Charles Campbell, Hew Locke, Lorraine O’Grady, Ebony G. Patterson, Cauleen Smith, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, and Marlon Griffith.