Lyle Ashton Harris
Jane Evelyn Atwood
Jean-Luc de Laguarigue
Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt
Artists explore Creole identities
Curated by Yolande Bacot
Lyle Ashton Harris, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Patrick Cariou, Renee Cox, David Damoison, Jean-Luc de Laguarigue, Polibio Diaz, Claudine Doury, Phyllis Galembo, Yo-Yo Gonthier, Leah Gordon, Daniel Goudrouffe, Stanley Greene, Alex Majoli, Susan Meiselas, Pierrot Men, Nicolas Nabajoth, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt.
Kréyol Factory, a contemporary art exhibition dedicated to the memory of Aimé Césaire situated in the "Grande Halle" (Great Hall) in a space built on 2,800 sq.m., draws together the works of 60 artists from the Caribbean and the Indo-Oceanic world, and some hailing from Africa and the United States, (82 works of visual artists and installations, 250 photographs and 9 documentary spaces). Its purpose is to challenge, from the point of view of the collective psyche and the identity issue, that which is common and specific to areas peopled by those forced into the slave trade, slavery, unfree labour and who have witnessed various colonization modes.
Kréyol Factory does not set out to be geographically exclusive, but uses a themed approach, with Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, the countries of the Atlantic (Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haïti, Dominican Republic), and of the Indian Ocean (Reunion, Mauritius) being the priority areas of exploration.
A seven stage itinerary
The work of Stuart Hall, the Jamaican-born British sociologist responsible for "Cultural Studies", laid out the theoretical framework vital to this approach. The project explores notably from his analysis of the "three presences" (Africa, European, American), which make up the Afro-Caribbean identity, Stuart Hall being himself indebted to Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor for this metaphor.
"Traversées" (Crossings), "Le trouble des genres" (Gender trouble), "L'Afrique - communauté imaginée" (Africa - The imagined community), "Noir comment?" (In what way, black?), "Des iles sous infl uences" (Islands under infl uence), "Les Nouveaux Mondes" (The New Worlds), "Chez soi - de loin" (At home - from afar) are the titles of the seven stages constituting the itinerary. They point to the purpose of Kréyol Factory; they allow us to see and feel the complexities of an identity issue linked to history, the processes of Creolisation and, more latterly, the effects of globalization.
Artistic diversity, multiple identities
The artists behind Kréyol Factory are all contemporary artists, some belonging to the young generation, whose work is directly linked to these issues. Their work, as Michel Foucault described it, relates "to the general plasticity of our times". Thus Kréyol Factory invites us to discover a plethora of installations; some the product of the accumulation, transformation and recomposition of objects or images responsible for turning their creators into genuine "archeologists/arkreyologists" of modern times. Other works, employing techniques as varied as oil on canvas, photography, videography, sculpture, proceed from another register, that is the purposeful misuse or reversal of images, codes, religious or advertising signs and therefore meanings, conducted in a spirit of humour, causticity, or even provocation.
Photographic collections of a more documentary nature add the touch of realism required for an understanding of the itinerary. With Kréyol Factory, the Parc de la Villette was keen on emphasizing this artistic diversity, proof yet again that artists, wherever they hail from and wherever they are, have something to say about their worlds, that is, our worlds.
Éditions Gallimard, 192 pages - 25 €
realized with the contribution of CULTURESFRANCE
Bertrand Nogent 01 40037574 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carole Polonsky 01 40037523 - email@example.com
Presse et journalistes arts plastiques :
Pierre Laporte Communication 01 45231414
At Grande Halle (Great Hall)
Parc de la Villette
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, F-75019 Paris
Du mardi au jeudi : 14h - 22h / du vendredi au dimanche : 11h - 19h
(fermeture des caisses 1/2 heure avant la fin de l’exposition)
Plein tarif 7 € - Tarif réduit** 5 € - Moins de 16 ans 3,5 € - Carte Villette gratuit