Min­shall: Mas is liv­ing art

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - Leah So­rias – Trinidad Ex­press By

Mad­ness! That was vet­eran mas­man Peter Min­shall’s re­sponse to Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posal to in­clude a Tan Tan and Saga Boy gallery in the float­ing mu­seum above the Port of Spain Prison on Fred­er­ick Street.

Min­shall was the mas­man who cre­ated the pop­u­lar Car­ni­val gi­ant danc­ing duo Tan Tan and Saga Boy back in 1990. He told the Ex­press yesterday that the char­ac­ters should not be placed in a mu­seum as “they are at their best when they are alive in the streets among the peo­ple.”

“Let the Prime Min­is­ter go in the Royal Jail and let Tan Tan and Saga Boy stay free in the streets and leave Port of Spain alone. The Royal Jail has such an in­tegrity of its own like the Sa­van­nah.”

A very up­set Min­shall added: “You know what the real prob­lem is, we have in­her­ited a cock-eyed colo­nial idea that art is not art or does not be­come art un­til it is put in a glass box in a mu­seum. That is why we have not re­alised that that which we call mas is liv­ing art and that we are at the tip of the spear that leads into the fu­ture but we are the last to recog­nise it. We don’t think it’s art un­less we build a mu­seum and take Tan Tan and Saga Boy and put them in a mu­seum. That is mad­ness!”

Pres­i­dent of the Down­town Own­ers and Mer­chants As­so­ci­a­tion (DOMA) Gre­gory Aboud said while the or­gan­i­sa­tion is very grate­ful that the de­vel­op­ment of the cap­i­tal city is on the agenda and that it will likely be a part of the man­i­festo, it is not the first time such plans have been an­nounced.

“We can re­spond specif­i­cally to the ques­tion of the Sal­va­tori site by say­ing that we have heard it al­ready and it had been men­tioned to us that an energy tower would be put there,” he said.

“Of course we are grate­ful if that in­vest­ment is made, as long as it in­cludes an abun­dant on-site park­ing, not only for the oc­cu­pants of the build­ing, but for the need of the city it­self. There is no bet­ter site in the city of Port of Spain that has been de­ter­mined by re­peated stud­ies for the mu­nic­i­pal or Gov­ern­ment-type park­ing than the Sal­va­tori site,” Aboud said.

Re­gard­ing the plan for the mu­seum, he said: “I’m not sure the mu­seum should be big­ger than the ex­ist­ing jail struc­ture but yes we would be very grate­ful for that in­vest­ment as well.”

Vet­eran Mas cre­ator Peter Min­shall.

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