ECHO-NATURES: CANNIBAL DESIRE
March 13- April 17, 2019
Curated by Jean-Marc Hunt and Marie Vickles
© Samuel Gelas, “Portrait de classe”, 2017
Echo-Natures: Cannibal Desire is presented within the second edition of the Tout-Monde Festival, dedicated to “Echo-Natures”, initiated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and co-organized by the France Florida Foundation for the Arts and French Arts Associates.
Echo-Natures aims at deconstructing stereotypes of the Caribbean by exploring the deepest essence of the region through its beings, shapes and environments. It observes how these Natures resonate one with another, and with the rest of the world, in reference to the “Echo-World” of Martinican poet, author and philosopher Edouard Glissant (1928-2011) who invented the concept of the “Tout-Monde”, the “All-World” uniting territories and individuals with different roots.
Cannibal Desire responds to the powerful pulsion, longings and fantasies of a violence from another time. The exhibition presents different forms of creative cannibalism, inspired by Oswald De Andrade’s anthropophagous manifesto, which in 1928 affirmed Brazilian modernity through the devouring of colonizing culture, and by Suzanne Césaire’s statement in the literary magazine Tropiques in 1942: “Martinican poetry will be cannibal or will not be.” In both contexts, the idea of power defines a shared ambition which seeks to multiply sensations and experiences, free of any hierarchy and any form of control. The impetus of Cannibal Desire thus becomes a state of consciousness, a way to consider the world.
The exhibition Cannibal Desire was inaugurated in July 2018 at the Fondation Clément in Martinique, curated by Jean-Marc Hunt. Initially focusing on internationally emerging artists from Guadeloupe, the exhibition, now presented at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami with associate curator Marie Vickles, has expanded to artists from Martinique and French Guiana, as well as to Miami-based artists from Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela. The Caribbean islands have thus crossed linguistic and geographic borders to resonate with the continent and diaspora to express one total Caribbean Cannibal Desire.
In the selected works by Miami-based artists, each piece embodies Edouard Glissant’s thought to establish a new identity that is self-defined, merging and mirroring surroundings: on the one hand, the development of cultural mixity in the United States, on the other hand, the natural world. Both are echoing each other and part of how Glissant thought one could transform both the individual and society.
Work by Stephen Arboite, Minia Biabiany, Ronald Cyrille, Morel Doucet, Tim Frager, Gwladys Gambie, Samuel Gelas, Cédrick Isham, Pepe Mar, Gerno Odang, Ricardo Ozier-Lafontaine, Raymond Médélice, Ramon Ngwete, Jérémie Paul, Vickie Pierre, Juan Ernesto Requena, Kelly Sinnapah Mary, Steek, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, and Atadja Lewa (at the Wolfsonian-FIU).
This exhibition is organized in partnership with the Little Haiti Cultural Center; the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance and the Fountainhead Residency. It has received the generous support of:
March 13- April 17, 2019
Curated by Yucef Merhi
© Atadja Lewa, « Exit »
Intersections among technology, ritual, and nature are the subject of videos by Tabita Rézaire and Atadja Lewa, presented as part of the Tout-Monde Festival of art from the Caribbean. The two artists offer contemporary, Caribbean-inflected perspectives on a key idea from the past. Specifically, they question the twin notions of progress—humankind’s growing dominion over nature through technology; and Europeans’ growing dominion over the globe through colonialism—that held sway during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, notions expressed in much of The Wolfsonian’s collection.
The fragmented narrative of Rézaire’s Premium Connect draws connections among African-derived artifacts and rituals, representations of nature, and the information age—referencing 1990s films, computer graphics, scientific simulations, and social media interfaces. Lewa’s Exit, likewise, blends contrasting times and cultures. He portrays a shamanic journey performed by the artist in the midst of an abandoned refinery, a ruin of the industrial age. Both artists challenge a Eurocentric understanding of technology. Rather than seeing it as a force that supersedes African and Afro-Caribbean spiritual traditions, they create visions in which the meaning and power of these traditions endure in our highly technologized world.
Tabita Rézaire (b. 1989) is a French-born, Guyanese/Danish new media artist. She holds a Bachelor in Economics (Paris) and a Master in Artist Moving Image from Central Saint Martins College (London). Rezaire has shown her work internationally, including the Berlin Biennale, Tate Modern London, Museum of Modern Art Paris, MoCADA NY, The Broad LA, and has presented her work on numerous panels.
Atadja Lewa (b. 1982) was born in Abymes, Guadeloupe. He studied at the Institute of Visual Arts in Martinique and graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure de Paris Cergy (ENSAPC). In his performances and videos, Lewa explores what constitutes today’s social fabric: workers’ strikes, politics, identity, gender, economic reality. Lewa has exhibited his work at Fondation Clément in Martinique, Pool Art Fair Guadaloupe, and several art festivals in the Caribbean.
Atadja Lewa’s work is part of the selection of the exhibition “Echo-Natures: Cannibal Desire” curated by Jean-Marc Hunt and Marie Vickles at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.