Port of Spain ~ Trinidad and Tobago
Christopher Cozier (1959, Port of Spain) is a multi-talented cultural activator with a profound impact on cultural development across the Caribbean. His informed and incisive artwork in diverse media reflects his deep understanding of Trinidad’s past and present, and beyond this, he mentors and supports local and regional artists, providing critiques, establishing dialogues with them across virtual space and initiating opportunities.
A pivotal agent in the evolution of contemporary art discourse in the Caribbean, Cozier was a major contributor (1998-2010) to the seminal journal Small Axe. As both writer and editor, his commitment to research and critical enquiry expanded the dialogue between traditional academic disciplines and the visual, and helped to liberate local discourse from predictable tropes and stereotypes.
For more than 25 years, Chris Cozier has been running artists’ workshops, exchanges and residencies linking local artists with international practitioners. Among many activities he was instrumental in establishing an exhibition context for new media. In 2006 he co-founded Alice Yard as an informal venue for creative experiment, exchange and debate. Located in the backyard of a house in Port of Spain, it hosts artists’ projects, performances, music events, readings, discussions and film screenings, as well as offering living quarters for visiting artists, a multipurpose studio and exhibition space, and a rehearsal space for young bands.
Cozier’s advocacy of Caribbean art on global levels includes co-curating Paramaribo Span (Suriname, 2010) and Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions (Washington DC, 2011) which featured 36 artists from 14 countries of the Anglophone, Francophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean; the online catalogue he produced for the latter show is used as a teaching tool at several universities. He is also currently a 2014 Satellite Advisory Curator to SITE Santa Fe.
Christopher Cozier is honoured for his influential role and open inclusive approach in developing art and culture across the Caribbean; for selflessly and generously creating possibilities for others, inspiring and mentoring younger generations; for his disciplined commitment to intellectual inquiry and critical discourse.