2022 Bermuda Biennial

MOKO Magazine

Special Bermuda Biennial 2022 Dispatch

Issue 2022 of MOKO: New Vocabularies features a Special Bermuda Biennial 2022 Dispatch. The digital magazine, dedicated to Caribbean arts and letters, was co-founded by Richard Georges, the poetry juror for this year’s Biennial. The special dispatch presents a selection of art and poetry featured in the exhibition.  

Of the Biennial, Andre Bagoo, MOKO’s Managing Editor, writes: “To help the gallery celebrate its 30th anniversary, poets were invited, just like the biennial artists, to respond to the set theme. This gesture towards ekphrasis has had interesting results. At the onset, it places poets alongside painters, sculptors and video artists in a manner that does not suggest any kind of hierarchical relationship. Poems are ‘displayed’ within the gallery space, perusable as you take in the art. If confluences and relationships emerge, it is because each individual is somehow capturing the zeitgeist.

But every piece from the biennial (whose jurors were Claire Gilman, Alexandria Smith, and Richard Georges), selected here for publication in Moko has been chosen also because it in some way troubles the categories of genre we so often take for granted. These pieces exemplify how these categories are more – to borrow Jacques Derrida’s notion from his famous essay The Law of Genre – contaminated than we would like to admit. To wit, Charlie Godet Thomas’ Downpour Dream Song, which he describes as an “Illuminated Manuscript”, pairs writing and imagery on newsprint. Cynthia Kirkwood’s delicate paintings recall asemic writing. James Cooper’s sculptures read like cheeky visual poems. Jessica Lightbourne’s poem brood, meanwhile, reminds us that a poem is first and foremost a visual thing, while Catherine Hay’s A Reference underlines poetry’s chameleon quality: it can shapeshift, it can be costumed in the form of an essay, letter or, in this case, ostensible character reference.”

Click here to read the magazine.