Minshall, well known internationally for his spectacular and sometimes macabre presentations,
is producing The Eyes of God for Trinidad Carnival 2018.
It’s a sailor band that will be accompanied by the Exodus steelband.
A band with a message.
And here is the message which will be emblazoned on every costume in the band:” All men are equal in the eyes of God. Would that all Gods were equal in the eyes of man.”
As Judy Raymond writes in Newsday, a Trinidad daily newspaper,” like all Minshall’s work, the 2018 band builds on traditional costumes and characters, using them in new ways, and also evokes aspects of his own earlier bands such as the wings of Papillon (1982), his “big sailor band” Carnival of the Sea (1979), and the biblical themes of Paradise Lost (1976), Hallelujah (1995), and the Lost Tribe (1999).
“It also draws on a far older tradition too: ancient Greek drama, when ordinary citizens would flock to the theatre to see tragedies performed by a handful of professional actors, while a chorus of amateurs, like Minshall’s mas players, danced and sang of the dangers of offending the gods.
“There are modern resonances, too, of course, of the religious confrontation that threatens yet again in the Middle East, and the conventional war against Isis that has evolved into a constant, ubiquitous threat of terrorism.”””
Set on a black background, the Eyes of God on the red-tinged banners and the white costumes of the band are those of “the god of the People of the Book, a jealous god who may not be best pleased with the current conduct of his creations.”
Minshall says in a press release, “We will make a contemporary work of art, in the medium of pan and mas’, and in the media.
The players will be wearing white sailor pants, high-waisted and fastened with three buttons
that draw the eye- the work of designer Ronald Guy James.
The rest of the costume will be a white sailor cap and a white T-shirt on which is printed in black the message of the band.
Minshall, the controversial, enigmatic carnival artist, makes it clear that he is not “bringing out a band.” The Eyes of God is a presentation of Exodus and the Calaloo company.