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Olivia McGilchrist | Ernestine and Me series

Ernestine and Me series, Bamboo Ave.
Olivia McGilchrist
Jamaïque
m,
Photography,
2012
Ernestine and Me series, Beauty Beach.
Ernestine and Me series, White River.
Ernestine and Me series.
Video Still
Ernestine and Me series / Documentation : Installation view during the National Biennial of the National Gallery of Jamaica, December 2012-March 2013.
Ernestine and Me series / Documentation : Installation view during the National Biennial of the National Gallery of Jamaica, December 2012-March 2013..

A double take on contemporary Jamaican life for a returning white female of part-Jamaican origin; after discovering that my jamaican great-grandmother Ernestine was black, in a family photograph found at my late grandfather’s house in Jamaica last year.
Quote from article ‘Perspectives on Blackness in the 2012 Biennial‘ by Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Jamaica :
The video installation features McGilchrist’s masked alter-ego “Whitey” being manipulated to various extents by a range of people representing contemporary Jamaican archetypes; the Rastas, the hot girls, the couple, Ms. Chin, the foreigner etc. All of these interactions take place- sometimes humorous, sometimes mildly menacing – while in the background is a photo of McGilchrist’s racially mixed paternal grandparents and their children, including her great-grandmother Ernestine, in a Jamaica of long ago.(…) Legacy proves a double-edged sword, it is a luxury, a privilege, and a curse, a sort of weight that threatens to limit self-actualization even as it offers opportunities (…)

 

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Olivia McGilchrist | My Dear Daddy series

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Olivia McGilchrist | Ernestine and Me series

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Olivia McGilchrist | Sudden White series

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