Haiti Kingdom of this World will be in Miami from December 1 2011 to January 31st 2011. Exhibit curator Giscard Bouchotte describes the exhibit thus . . .
The exhibition, Haiti Kingdom of this World, arose from the need to draw up an inventory of the contemporary creativity in Haiti, and to show the work of artists who question daily the state of chaos reigning there. There are plastic artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, performers and video artists – all essential players of their time. The exhibition is conceived as a laboratory of which they are the guardians. The exhibition is mainly concerned with recent and new works commissioned for the artists specifically for this exhibition, which testify to their creative vitality. At the same time it challenges us to think about the difficulties these artists face in making their work known through travel and exchanges with the Caribbean and the rest of the world.
Haiti Kingdom of this World seeks to go to the heart of this drama, to question the idea that misfortune is inevitable and to put forward another face of Haiti as seen through the eyes of its artists. The title of the exhibition is inspired by the novel of Alejo Carpentier: it offers a way of reconsidering the founding myths linked to Haiti and, without eulogizing them, attempts to redirect the chaos of Haiti and the possibilities it may contain. Alejo Carpentier’s real maravilloso (wonderful reality) long ago gave way to “wonderful chaos”.
Frankétienne, with his literary and pictorial UFOs, has been creating an apocalyptic world for about forty years now. Mario Benjamin, on the other hand, inhabits time and tames space. Maxence Denis, through his video-sculptures, pursues his reflections on the deluge of images that belong to our time. But how is it possible to continue creating after such a catastrophe and all the dramas that are added to it day by day? People like to evoke the “resilience” of the Haitian population, but if Haiti really wants to be the Phoenix rising from its ashes, it needs to take time into account.
Alas, it is too long. A year after the earthquake, it is only via private initiatives that Haiti is beginning to look to the future. For the moment, only imagination and creativity are enabling Haitians to transcend their own boundaries and reconstruct themselves little by little. Before the earthquake, Haiti did not figure on the official circuits for contemporary art; today things are even more complex. In a country occupied by humanitarian aid agencies, the devastation paradoxically betrays any attempt to construct “professional” relationships. This exhibition goes beyond such an approach and relies on this “kingdom of creativity” to be the country’s most stunning advertisement. By showing its artists to the world, Haiti hopes to transform the charity it is being offered in exchange.
Despite the wide gap between the discourses stressing that Haiti will only emerge from the morass through its own culture, and the reality of the budget allocated to it, Haiti has a large concentration of artists and craftspeople from the “new region of the world”, the Caribbean – a potential which has inspired distinguished ambassadors and thinkers such as Aimé Césaire, Maryse Condé, Edouard Glissant and Graham Greene.
Welcome to a Haiti which stands tall. A Haiti where life is reasserting its rights.
For the original report go to http://theglobalcaribbean.org/