PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University, in collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the Waterloo Center for the Arts, will host a multivenue exhibition of Haitian art, titled Re-Framing Haiti: Art, History and Performativity, from Wednesday, March 23, through Thursday, April 21, 2011, showcasing more than 100 works. In conjunction with the exhibition, the University will host five visiting Haitian artists, some of whose works are on display, for public lectures and workshops. The exhibition and artist events are free and open to the public.
From the surrealist dreamscapes of Celestin Faustin to the regal Vodou pantheons and portraitures of André Pierre, Re-Framing Haiti: Art, History and Performativity includes paintings, metal sculpture, and Vodou flags drawn from private collections throughout Haiti and the United States, as well as the Affirmation Gallery in New York City, the Nader Gallerie in Port-Au-Prince, and the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Iowa.
“Reframing Haiti offers an opportunity for critical reflection, for Americans as well as the international community, as we consider how best to support Haiti’s efforts to rebuild,” said Anthony Bogues, the Harmon Family Professor of Africana Studies and co-curator of the exhibition. “The exhibition’s starting point is that the past shapes both the present and the direction of the future. We want to present a different narrative about Haiti which challenges historical and contemporary biases.”
The exhibition touches on themes such as Haitian history and revolution, daily life, and religion. The items are on display throughout the following campus locations:
- “Vodou Art” at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology’s Manning Hall Gallery;
- “Flags of the Spirits” at the George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space in Churchill House;
- “Everyday Life” at the Cohen Gallery in the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts;
- “Metal Arts” at RISD’s Ewing Multicultural Center; and
- “New Histories,” which includes the art of Edouard Duval-Carrié, at the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
Artists visiting Brown during the exhibition are pre-eminent Vodou flag-maker Myrlande Constant; metal sculptor Gabriel Bien-Aimé; André Eugène and Jean-Herard Céleur, founding members of the Haitian artists’ collective Atis Rezistans (Artists of Resistance); and Edouard Duval-Carrié, one of the most renowned Haitian artists living today. They and others will be leading workshops and lectures for the general public.
- March 21: Blessing and presentation of a traditional Vodou altar by Manbo Marie Evans (5:30 p.m., Haffenreffer Museum, Manning Hall, Brown University College Green)
- March 22: Screening and discussion of the documentary Rezistans: The Sculptors of Grand Rue (4 p.m., Smith Buonanno B G12)
- March 23: Opening ceremony (3:30 p.m., Pembroke Hall 305)
- March 24: Keynote address by M. Lerebours, “When Did Haitian Art Begin?” (4 p.m., Pembroke Hall 305)
- March 24-25: Workshops by André Eugène and Jean-Herard Céleur, founding members of the Haitian artists’ collective Atis Rezistans (6 to 9 p.m., the Steel Yard, 27 Sims Avenue). Reservations required; see website.
- April 5, 7, 8: Vodou flag workshop with Myrlande Constant (5 p.m., Churchill House). Reservations required; see website.
- April 6: Public conversation between Myrlande Constant and spoken-word poet Gina Ulysse ( 5 p.m., Rites and Reasons Theater)
- April 11: Lunchtime Talk with Gabriel Bien-Aimé (1 p.m., RISD Library 228)
- April 11: Panel discussion on “Politics in Haiti Today,” featuring Alex Dupuy, Patrick Sylvain, and Nancy Roc (6 p.m., Joukowsky Institute)
- April 13: Public lecture by Edouard Duval-Carrié on “Art in the Time of Quakes and Cholera” (5 p.m., Pembroke 305)
- April 18: Public talk by Haitian art scholar Donald Cosentino on “Gods without Greencards: Haiti, History and the Law in the Paintings of Edouard Duval-Carrié and André Pierre” (5 p.m., Petteruti Lounge, Faunce House)
- April 19: Lunchtime talk by Janet Feldman on collecting contemporary Haitian art (noon, Churchill House)
- April 20: Public talk by historian Marcus Rediker on “Haiti: At the Crossroads of Surrealism” (noon, Churchill House)
- April 20: Closing ceremony with Edwidge Danticat (5 p.m. Pembroke 305)
For event locations and times, visit www.brown.edu/reframing-haiti. Information on guided group tours is also available on that website.
In addition to Bogues, the exhibition is being curated by Karen Allen Baxter, managing director of Rites and Reason Theater, and Katherine Smith, postdoctoral fellow in history of art and architecture. The exhibition and events are supported by the Office of the President, the Cogut Center for the Humanities, the Watson Institute for International Studies, the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, the Department of Art and Architecture, the Department of French Studies, and the Rhode Island School of Design.