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#433121 - 03/16/12 09:08 AM Society Killed the Teenager
Marty Online   happy
Our next story is about an art show that will either leave you nodding in agreement or fuming in anger.

That's because a pair of committed young artists are taking on all the big issues from politics, to sexuality, to religion - with youthful panache and a devil-may-care attitude.

Now, it's not for the squeamish - but it certainly won't leave you bored. The show is called "Society Killed the Teenager"; it opens tomorrow at the Image Factory, but we got a look today:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
Welcome to the very topsy-turvy world of Ruhiel Trejo and Briheda Haylock where nothing is what you thought it to be:

Dean Barrow is the Queen, Francis Fonseca gets a "nope" - instead of hope, as do Mark Espat and John Briceno.

The last supper gets plasticized, Pope John Paul is a poster-icon with a statement as is Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Bob Marley - even George Price gets the red and white treatment - with a cryptic statement below his image.

Dr. Kevin Lee is a camera-man and Shyne gets his mugshot on a milk carton - the sum of his days reduced to a compact declaration of working-man's futility.

Everything is declared plastic and everything is packaged and shelved for sale.

Products are placards - and one throwaway statement is as good or bad as another.

This is the work of Ruhiel Trejo - a young, committed and care-free artist - who doesn't care who he ticks off:

Ruhiel Trejo, Artist
"My art work, if they offend someone, I don't really care, that's their problem, I really like to [#%!] off people so this is I guess a hobby for me as well through my art pieces."

Jules Vasquez
"Is there anything that you consider off limits?"

Ruhiel Trejo, Artist
"No, nothing is off limits."

Including the UNIBAM issue - if you can't read the fine print, this says, "some people are gay, get over it."

Ruhiel Trejo, Artist
"Well my art pieces, it all depends on the person who reads it and they would think it's good or bad or they just feel no reaction towards it. So it depends on them how they see it no me, I just create the art; they are the ones who interpret it."

"I don't want them to leave my art show and feel no way about it, I prefer them to love it or hate it, not in between."

The same for Briheda Haylock, who is the other half of the generation - defining art exhibit.

Briheda Haylock, Artist
"The reason for some of our chaos is because of peer pressure, not only by our peers but by other people around us telling us you should do this or to that, making choices for us."

Her work deals also with image - but instead of celebrities, her art ponders self-image:

Briheda Haylock, Artist
"What it's telling people is be confident about yourself, I am also showing what society does to us as individuals, I feel like in Belize we cannot be ourselves 100%, because we will be put down made fun of and it's ridiculous to me, I mean I want to have bright color hair but I can't have it, why? I am going to be labeled as homosexual or as I am craving attention, which I am noting, I just like me. I mean I find that beautiful, so to me people need to be more open minded about being different. Don't follow the status quo the countries' quo of what is acceptable. I think everything should be acceptable."

And in this space everything is put on the table - and these artists make no apologies.

Briheda Haylock, Artist
"You can hate us or love us we don't care; we are not put on this world to make anyone happy with us. We're here to inspire people to open minds; you know that's what an artist does."

Both artists are SJC Junior College students. You can see the art for yourself when it opens on Friday night at 7:00 pm at the Image Factory.

Channel 7

#433126 - 03/16/12 09:16 AM Re: Society Killed the Teenager [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Society Killed the Teenager; the New Exhibit at Image Factory

Society Killed the Teenager, that’s the name of a distinctively provocative exhibition being staged at the Image Factory by two students of SJC Junior College. Briheda Haylock and Ruhiel Trejo’s style combines emotions and politics to express their views on a number of issues that range from the religious to the sexual. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Video may have killed the Radio Star but two young artists believe that Society Killed the Teenager. The exhibit is not just a name, but is evident in the images created by the artists. For Briheda Haylock it’s a tour de force of emotions.

Briheda Haylock, Artist

Briheda Haylock

“My stuff is based on emotions; what you go through in everyday life and your individualism. And because some people are ridiculed because of being free spirited or because they feel like they are craving attention, but that’s not the case—they are just being themselves. It’s a 3D piece art and collage. It says, “your life hands by a thread. All you can do is scream; leaving yourself in pain. Slowly your life is running out. You stab yourself wounded. You cry for help; no one can hear you. But you wake up from this nightmare only to find out you are six feet under. It’s not death; it is just self-suicide emotionally. It’s like if you are going through something, it puts them into depression. We all go through it; you can’t tell me you don’t go through depression sometimes, but your one is more severe. You are getting lost in yourself, you don’t know who you are at the point and you are just experimenting doing all different things, but you are slowly killing yourself emotionally.”

Ruhiel Trejo

Ruhiel Trejo, the other mixed media and collage conspirator, attacked not the emotional but the political senses.

Ruhiel Trejo, Artist

“For me, it’s a lot of meanings. One of the meaning si that they are so much people that are caught up with the whole P.U.P./U.D.P. if you are U.D.P. and I am P.U.P. then I shouldn’t talk with you. So in a sense, in those times with the queen, you are either with the queen or against the queen—you have an ultimatum. And that’s like in Belize; some of the U.D.P. hold up dean Barrow like an iconic or someone that holds a lot of power. And they believe that if you’re P.U.P. and I am U.D.P. then I shouldn’t talk to you or to do with you.”

One wall is adorned with regularly televised faces whose identities are forged in plastic.

Ruhiel Trejo

“Plastic for me is the outer layer of someone. Like let’s say you buy an I-phone and some people just don’t look at the package and that’s like in Belize. These people they just look at them like plastic products and they don’t really understand inside; they don’t really know these people. Everybody just have a basic concept idea of them but they don’t really know who they are. I use the message they are trying to portray in their time and I twisted it for our time like right now in Belize.”

Jose Sanchez

“But you think Martin Luther King have a dream for people to be equally sexual all depending on their sexuality. Do you think he would agree with what you are doing?’

Ruhiel Trejo

“Actually I think he would agree because at that time when he was fighting for equality, there were a lot of mixed couples in the U.S. that couldn’t get married because the church or religious people did not believe that white and black should mix. So in that sense I think that he was fighting for human rights on a whole; so he would understand homosexuality.”

Jose Sanchez

“As you are well aware, there is a big battle with UNIBAM. And you have Mahatma Gandhi as your message for respecting lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. Do you think Gandhi would go for that; do you think the public in general would go for that or is this just you?”

Ruhiel Trejo

“It’s just me. I am the artist; I just create the art. It is them who interpret the art. I don’t really care how they interpret it—that’s their business. I just create the art.”

Trejo’s art has visions of Andy Worhol, but like a shadow of society, Haylock’s most provocative pieces are small boxes.

Briheda Haylock

“I am showing that not all depression is the same—some of us are in a room, sad, we look in a mirror reflecting—not knowing who we are. That’s why the mirror is in there—self-reflection. We do know that people cut themselves. You know, we are suicidal or you are just craving attention from someone when it is not the case. Some people see it as a calming way of dealing with pain. That’s why we have the razor blade and diary.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now the first one looks like a person crouched over, with a bottle. What si that room showing?”

Briheda Haylock

“That room depicts that that person is drinking him/herself to sleep. It si not an identifiable person and on him I have written loser, lifelessness, lies, pain, addiction, demons, lust, love, promiscuous—all of these things happen in our country. We all go through some of these things and these are the things that put us in this state.”

Ruhiel Trejo

“What it means to me is yes society kills the teenager, but in Belize, most of the basic population are teenagers. So what I am trying to say is that it is not the older generation that are literally killing us but it’s each other. In a sense that some people aren’t as open-minded to certain stuff and when you dress a different way and listen to certain music, they put you down because they are so caught up in a Jamaican identity instead of having a Belizean identity.”

Jose Sanchez

“Would you say your art—all of it—is essentially your soul; an emotional representation of who you are?

Briheda Haylock

“Yes. It is also inspired by what’s around me—it’s not only me, it is what I see and hear every day. I have this personality where people confide in me and it makes what I am doing stronger. People can relate to it.”

Society Killed the Teenager Opens on Friday night at the Image Factory. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The two artists took six months to develop their work and it is their first major exhibition.

Channel 7


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