New Roots: Patreece McIntosh on Ikem Smith’s 2063

The NGJ recently staged an art writing workshop for its curatorial staff, which was presented by Nicole Smythe-Johnson. Here is the first of a series of short reviews that were produced during this workshop, written by Patreece McIntosh – a response to Ikem Smith’s 2063 music animation, which is currently on view in New Roots. Patreece is a Visual Communications graduate of the Edna Manley College and works as the NGJ’s Graphic Designer.

It depicts a blood red sky, absent buildings and not a single tree in sight. Against this post-apocalyptic background a dark figure is running, we don’t yet know why. It is a minute and fifty seconds of panic and confusion, the music becomes more intense and then abruptly there is an impact. He crashes to the ground with force, a firearm flashes across the screen and we now have our answer when we least expect it.

The death of the figure in Ikem Smith’s animated music video entitled 2063, and created fifty years earlier in 2013, is still quite mysterious though it is clearly implied what has happened to him. There are so many questions that can be asked; one can ask who he was, what he was doing before, where he was going to and who he was running from. The fact that the figure is unidentified makes it easy to imagine that it could be any of us and so these questions could be answered with a little imagination.

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New Roots: Ikem Smith

Biography

Ikem Smith is a multimedia artist born in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a recent graduate of the Edna Manley College of The Visual and Performing Arts where he earned his BFA in Visual Communication. He has directed a number of music videos and continues to dabble in music production and animation.

Artist’s Statement

Tools of trade, image and spoken word. Sorting through the stream of information presented to me by the news, the church, my parents and trying respond in ways that I feel right or necessary. This work is my voice and one of my first responses to living life in this young Jamaica at the beginning of the twenty first century. Continue reading