Art and agency in contemporary Curaçao: Tirzo Martha’s Blijf maar plakken

Kitty Zijlmans


Through a discussion of the artwork Blijf maar plakken by Curaçaoan artist Tirzo Martha, this paper discusses how a collaborative artwork not only reinforces bonds between its participants, but also taps into a local community’s cultural memory, prompting stories and creating cultural identity rather than merely representing or reflecting it.

This text is published as a counterpart to the contribution to Sustainable Art Communities from the artist Tirzo Martha.

Keywords: contemporary art, the transnational Caribbean, cultural identity, storytelling, collaboration, Curaçao, Tirzo Martha, Instituto Buena Bista

Full text:  OAJ_issue5_zijlmans_final_v2 (PDF 1.4 MB)


Biographical note
Kitty Zijlmans is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory/World Art Studies at Leiden University and member of LUCAS, Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. In 2010, she was accepted as a member of the KNAW, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her fields of interest are contemporary art, art theory, and methodology. She is especially interested in the ongoing intercultural processes and globalisation of the (art) world, and increasingly collaborates and exchanges with artists in the context of the field of artistic research.