Beginning his career as a “Mas” man for Carnival, Marlon Griffith’s current work derives its form (and to an extent its process) from the performative, participatory, and ephemeral characteristics that derive from Trinidadian Carnival. Griffith’s work is based upon a reciprocal dialogue between ‘Mas’ (the artistic component of the Trinidad Carnival) and contemporary art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience, while interrogating contemporary visual culture outside the traditional pitfalls of representation. Often taking the form of processions, Marlon’s performative actions are stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new images and narratives that respond critically and poetically to our socio-cultural environment.
Marlon Griffith has shown internationally and been an artist-in-residence at Bag Factory / Fordsburg Artists Studios in Johannesburg (2004); Mino Paper Art Village in Japan (2005); Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica (2007); and Popop Studios, Nassau, The Bahamas (2010-11); Art Omi, Ghent, New York (2011), Art Gallery of York University (2014-15). Recent projects include new commissions for 7th Gwanju Biennale (Gwangju, Korea, 2008), CAPE09 BIENNIAL (Cape Town, South Africa, 2009), MANIFESTA 9 Parallel Projects (Hasselt, Belgium, 2012), AICHI TRIENNALE (Nagoya, Japan 2013), TATE MODERN (London, England, 2014) and upcoming at the ART GALLERY OF YORK UNIVERSITY (Toronto, Canada, 2015).
In 2010, Griffith was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and of a Commonwealth Award.