Olivia Mcgilchrist

Jamaica – France

Olivia Mcgilchrist was born in Jamaica to a French Mother and a Jamaican Father. They left the island when she was four and she returned at the age of thirty to live and work there between 2011-2014. Her work explores translocation and her mixed Caribbean cultural identity via her alter-ego whitey‘s placement in evocative and historical Jamaican landscapes. It questions the role of racial, social and gender based categorization, classification and discrimination in the contemporary Caribbean space. By juxtaposing parallel realities through photographs, video installations and more recently with virtual reality, elements of the tropical picturesque are re-appropriated and remapped to evoke the complexity of the Caribbean’s hybrid identities. Mcgilchrist completed her Master’s in Photography at the London College of Communication in 2010 and received a Graduate Certificate in Digital Technologies from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada in 2015. She is currently a PhD student in Arts, Education and Immersive Technology at Concordia University, Montreal.


Oliviamcgilchrist.com

Jonkonnu / Gens Invonnus

2015
Virtual Reality Video Installation, 3’ 10”, with sound


A cube-shaped pine box with decorative engravings atop a wooden structure houses an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in which the viewer interacts with a virtual video installation of traditional Jamaica Carnival ‘Jonkonnu’ performers. As the viewer puts on the Oculus Rift, s/he enters a 3D space in which two perspectives of this Carnival performance are blended and juxtaposed across the three virtual gallery screens. Across the Caribbean, Jonkonnu was a festival created by the enslaved themselves; as a gesture of resistance. Although the more traditional forms are slowly dying, the power of Jonkonnu remains, albeit Jamaica’s current economic hardship.