The Forgotten Sugar Island
Exhibition text by Art Critic and Historian Rune Brecht Nielsen:
St. Rumpet – The Forgotten Sugar Island
From 1672 and for approximately 245 years onwards Denmark colonized the four Caribbean islands; St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and St. Rumpet, motivated by the extremely rewarding sugar production, which became an important part of the triangular-trade between Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Sugar was back then referred to as the white gold, and was extracted from sugar canes produced in the sugar plantations.
In the beginning of the 1800s the production of sugar beets was developed in Europe and dependency on the sugar plantations in the Caribbean decreased. By the middle of the 1800s the economic incentive for the colonies had virtually disappeared. Denmark no longer had any economic interest in the Islands and made several attempts to sell them off. In 1917 Denmark finally succeeded in selling off the four islands to the US for 25 million USD. While St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix were renamed the US Virgin Islands and today are known as exotic travel destinations, St. Rumpet slowly faded from memory and today the island is no longer a part of the collective memory.
In the installation, St. Rumpet - The Forgotten Sugar Island, Rasmus Roos Lindquist works with the construction and creation of history as his overall theme. With the history of St. Rumpet as his starting point he examines how history writing is constantly formed, reformed and rewritten. Through the installation he does not just bring the forgotten history of St. Rumpet back into our consciousness (with all the underlying issues involved therein), but also provides far more questions about history as a concept, its truth value and manipulative nature.