Richard Mark Rawlins is another artist in the Digital (April 24-July 4, 2016) exhibition:
Richard Mark Rawlins is a graphic designer and contemporary artist who lives and works in Trinidad. He is the publisher of the online magazine Draconian Switch, and collaborator in the Alice Yard contemporary art-space initiative. His most recent exhibition, Finding Black (2015), took place at Medulla Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad. He has had several solo exhibitions in Trinidad and was a resident artist in Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA (2012). His work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design, New York (2010) and in the Jamaica Biennial 2014 at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Richard Mark Rawlins lives and works in Trinidad.
About the Work
“This short video examines ‘coonery and bufoonery’ as presented in a select choice of 1970s, 1980s and 1990s television shows featuring largely all black casts. Despite the difference in storylines, as well as casts, one main ‘staple’ of black television is ‘dance’. Dance as presented not for merit of skill, but rather dance as presented for laughs. Once the dance segment comes on the background track is not one of adulation, cheering or ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs,’ but rather the famous laugh track.”
“Presented here for contemplation is a video that is pieced together from edited YOU TUBE segments of the Cosby Show, That’s My Momma, Good Times, Family Matters, Different Strokes, Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons, all sandwiched between an opening and closing clip from the Al Jolson Movie showing a white actor in black face singing ‘negro’ music. The video attempts to question among other things the ways blacks were presented on television and the undesirable legacy of the dancing coon.”