In this work, Désert teases the above mentioned excerpt from Matthew 7:6 and renders it in the form of festoons draped across the room. The texts, exhibited in Kreyol, Papiamento, Spanish, Sranan Tongo, and Patois, sit underneath balloons which characterise the pearls we are warned of wasting on undeserving recipients. The full bible quote however advises us not to be hypocritical judges, yet we must be able to discern the swine, lest we cast our pearls before them.
This is a work which is first and foremost an effort to negotiate issues of identitarianism, and the regulatory or dictatorial power of religious language and its role in the subjugation of queer Caribbean communities.12 The artist insists and questions the underlying premise of some beings characterized as less deserving than others. Who are the swine in this analogy and what do our “pearls” represent? Why is it a waste to cast our pearls before the swine?
Text: Mokia Laisin
Commissioned by the Small Axe Journal project Caribbean Queer Visualities as a Andy Warhol Foundation grant and the British Council of Northern Ireland for the Gold Thread Gallery presentation (2016).
Files & Documents:Pearls | Caribbean Queer Visualities
Material & Format:
2016: Installation, biblical text (Do not throw pearls before swine, Matthew 7:6) as party-garlands in five Caribbean based languages/dialects, laser cut plastic with acrylic paint, 450 pearlescent balloons, silver chains, variable dimensions.