Opens Today: Édouard Duval-Carrié’s “Décolonisons le raffinement”


An exhibition by Haitian artist Édouard Duval-Carrié—“Décolonisons le raffinement” [Let’s decolonize the refinement]—will open today, August 24, and will be on view until October 17, 2018, at Fondation Clément [Clement Foundation] in Martinique.

Description: In the Caribbean, clashes, reconfigurations, and the invention of newness have shaped life. Édouard Duval-Carrié upsets this logic with a practice deeply rooted in the Haitian symbolic universe but that may also be seen as “the reinvention of novelty” [or innovation—“la réinvention de la nouveauté”] made of repetitions, adaptations, and ruptures, but also multiplicity. The works presented in this exhibition contribute deliberately to the overthrow of the past created by the artist in an attempt to create a distinct visual vocabulary to produce a visual history of the Caribbean. This story is not a burden but rather an active memory and liberation that allows us to face the present.

Édouard Duval-Carrié is also interested in the way in which the human entity has become the seat of its own destruction. He presents hybrid men, devoid of human flesh, with plants growing on their heads. These are adaptations of the soukougnan, a malevolent creature from Caribbean mythology, who gets rid of its skin to seek out victims. Édouard Duval-Carrié has reinvented the soukougnan to create a creature whose absence of flesh reveals the presence of our ills. Have human beings been disfigured in their attempt to control nature? And does this attempt relate to the disastrous ecological consequences for us and for the world we live in? All this brings us back to Édouard Duval-Carrié’s concern for the present, and to the way he experiments and remakes the different aspects of the Caribbean symbolic order.

[Translated by Ivette Romero. For the original (in French), see]

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