VERNACULAR UNIVERSALISM* | FREEMASONRY IN HAITI AND BEYOND
YVES DELVA | ERNEST DOMINIQUE | MARG DUSTON | ANDRE EUGENE| LEAH GORDON | MICHEL LAFLEUR | LAZAROS | MOLEJ ZAMOUR
Vernacular Universalism* | Freemasonry in Haiti and Beyond
May 25 – June 23, 2018, 3:30-7:00 PM, Abrazo Interno Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 24th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Panel Discussion: Friday, June 22nd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
In Haiti, during the colonial era, the Freemasons were one of the few European institutions that allowed black membership. Freemasonry still thrives in contemporary Haiti, and its visual world pervades the Haitian imaginary. The symbols that recur throughout this exhibition once tethered a web of ideas that stretched across the Atlantic, encrypting the most precious values of the Enlightenment.
This exhibition aims to visualize the mesh of magic and reason; alchemy and science; trade and metaphysical exchange that has stretched into the 21st century. By focusing on Haiti, this exhibition sheds light on the relationship between colonized peoples and the Enlightenment. It suggests that for some, Freemasonry offered a path to becoming an agent of modernity, rather than its reviled ‘other’. This exhibition will be a timely and significant contribution to an understanding of Freemasonry through the lens of the Black Atlantic.
107 Suffolk Street
New York, NY 10002
(btw Rivington & Delancey)
This exhibition is compiled by Leah Gordon and transgresses the borders between fiction and non-fiction; reality and imagination and will feature original and commissioned works by Haitian, American and European artists Yves Delva, Ernest Dominique, Marg Duston, Andre Eugene, Leah Gordon, Lazaros, Michel Lafleur & Molej Zamour. The pairing of document and artefact mirrors the binaries between Magic and Modernity inherent in Haitian Freemasonry.
* The title is from a conversation about Haitian Freemasonry between Sibylle Fischer and Katherine Smith and I thank them for their generosity in granting me permission to temporarily adopt it.