When St. Lucian-descended Black British artist Isaac Julien presented his avant-garde triple-screen video work Paradise Omeros at a Festival of African and Caribbean Film in Barbados, a member of the audience commended him on the work but regretted it was not being shown to the “real Barbados.” To this, Julien retorted that gallery audiences were also “real,” and moreover necessary to an artist like himself who seeks to challenge conventional visual expectations of genre in both film and art.By performing a close reading of his short film Encore: Paradise Omeros Redux (2003), while referencing those of Julien's works that directly address the Caribbean, this article asks if they are `relevant' to a Caribbean audience. Or does their art gallery provenance and anticonventional form, along with the challenge they pose to the pieties of nationalism, gender, and creole identity, push them beyond the limits of consensual meaning?
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Jane Bryce; Riffing on Omeros: The Relevance of Isaac Julien to Cultural Politics in the Caribbean. Small Axe 1 July 2010; 14 (2 (32)): 83–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-2010-006
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