FINAL HAITI PAVILION LAST CHANGE TO SEE – 54TH LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
Last chance to see this week: “Death and Fertility”, Haiti Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale
The 54th Venice Biennale has welcomed the first national participation of Haiti.
Of all Venice’s surreal juxtapositions, none beats the fragile Haitian pavilion, housed in shipping containers installed on the quayside directly underneath Roman Abramovich’s monster-yacht. Three artists from Port-au-Prince’s Atis-Rezistans collective, Jean Hérard Celeur, André Eugène and Jean Claude Saintilus, show raucous sculptural collages of the human form shaped from junk – engine manifolds, computer entrails, TV sets – dashed with lavishly coloured textile fragments and recalling fetish effigies. Ready-mades here are used from economic necessity, not Duchampian choice, to speak eloquently of transformation – wreckage into art, the everyday into the immortal – with a vigorous expressiveness standing out from the Biennale’s slick, well-rehearsed ironies.
FINANCIAL TIMES 04/06/2011 “Breadth in Venice” By Jackie Wullschlager (Extract)
Among all the various Biennale sites spread out around Venice and its various islands, I can’t decide whether the Haitian Pavilion is the hardest or the easiest exhibition space to miss. On the one hand it’s not far from the main exhibition area in the Giardini and situated all alone in the middle of Riva dei Sette Martiri. And yet people walk right past it, completely unaware that it’s there. Or, more to the point, that it’s a Biennale pavilion at all, as it consists of two large freight containers, arranged in the shape of a Tau cross, in the red and blue of the Haitian flag. (…)
Conceived specifically for this site on the Riva, Haiti’s wealthier neighbours in the Caribbean are represented by the yachts (from George Town, Cayman Islands) regularly docked nearby, making this area of Venice something like a changing map of the Caribbean Sea.
VENEZIA BLOG http://veneziablog.blogspot.com Extract from posts: 18/6/2011 and 1/7/2011
André Eugène:- After one year (from the earthquake), I will put all the bodies together in a big sculpture
BBC Interviewer :- Isn’t this likely to upset many local people, knowing that the skeletons were friends/related natives?- A.E.:- Yes, anyone can say anything, I don’t care! –
The imposition of the Grand Rue artists’ sculptures -on the street which runs through the slum close to the port of the Haitian capital-, claims their relationship to the Vodou religion, a shadowy region in the sea-trade of slaves, who were reduced to zombies of commerce. This relationship has inspired the artists to a vision of the street as a museum. André Eugène, front-man of an expanding group started in the 1990’s, now also including younger artists, speaks about the phallus and Gede (a lively spirit celebrated by practicants in cemeteries and crossroads,by
rhapsodizing over the joining of the opposites of death and fertility): – Life and death walk together, they go side by side, you cannot have one without the other. This is why I use the phallus as a symbol and Gede too, as they both reveal the truth –
L’UOMO VOGUE issue n.451 – HAITI PAVILION By Daniele Geminiani
Death and Fertility focuses on Gede, the family of spirits which in the Vodou religion embody both death and fertility. This subject matter highlights the artists’ meditation on the extremes of life and the elements in their work which allude to death and sexuality, reflecting the complexity of Vodou.
The Haitian pavilion presents two parallel curatorial projects under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Communication of the Republic of Haiti: Death and Fertility, an outdoor site-specific project by Italian artist Daniele Geminiani with the support of British photographer and curator Leah Gordon and Haïti Royaume de ce monde, curated by Giscard Bouchotte at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia which includes fifteen artists based in Haiti and in the diaspora.
Death and Fertility has been realized thanks to the collaboration of the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Haiti in France. In cooperation with: Institut Français, Fonds de dotation agnès b., UNESCO Venice Office, Embassy of Haiti in Italy
Supported by: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Afrika Museum, Museo dell’Arredo Contemporaneo
The pavilion of Haiti pays homage to Edouard Glissant, the Caribbean writer and philosopher recently passed away.
Death and Fertility
02.06.2011 – 28.07.2011
Artists: Atis Rezistans (Jean Hérard Celeur, André Eugène, Claude Saintilus)
Commissioner and curator: Daniele Geminiani
Adjunct curator: Leah Gordon
Haiti Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale
Riva dei Sette Martiri, Sestiere Castello, Venice, Italy (next to Giardini della Biennale)
from Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6 pm
Project manager: Mary Zurigo
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