Haitian Culture, Stereotypes and Art
Abstract Without culture, there, indeed, cannot be art, as we know it, because art cannot exist separate from culture. This exhibition emphasis on Haitian art from the 19th century to the present day. Raised up around a core of fashionable works, some created specifically for the event, it highlights the features of Haitian art history in a non-sequential approach and takes a fresh look at art form poorly known among us. The purpose of the exhibition is to go beyond stereotypes of simple painting and go beyond the magic-religious and bizarre vision too often associated with Haitian art. The exhibition explores the astonishing strength of art in which everything is changing the form in all circumstances, and the real country exists together unusually with a fairyland. Art from the land of poverty, and deprivation that evokes the positive aspects of the human spirit. The artworks are the inventive creations of a city of debris and seismic.
The images featured in Haitian Art demonstrate that the visual and performing arts of Haiti are worthy of study, appreciation, and value. Artwork, History and a Way of Life A charismatic Sea Village in the heart of Brooklyn Red Hook, New York, is not your typical Brooklyn neighborhood. This peculiar waterfront place feels more like a residential area than a major city neighborhood. The bars and restaurants are mostly kept running by local people, and individuals make proper acquaintance with each other in the city. Down along the water you will discover old buildings warehouses that have remained since Red Hook was a shipping destination. Red Hook bulges out into the New York Harbor, only opposite Governor’s Island, and the area’s piers offer an extraordinary view of both the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan.
The best way to get to Red Hook it is by a ferry, or bus B 61. Red Hook has a rich history as a mixed residential, commercial, and industrial neighborhood. A fact about Red Hook is that the area is sprinkled with art galleries. The main things to do and see in Red Hook is a visit of Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, have a bite at Baked shop of Red Hook Red Hot cupcake, a beer at Brooklyn Ice House, a mouthful of ethnic food vendors cuisine from El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, while you walk through Louis Valentino Junior Park and Pier enjoying the lovely view of Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan, Governors Island, Staten Island, and the Civil War-era Red Hook Stores Building, for a free musical performance, exhibits and other events visit Pioneer Works at 159 Pioneer Street, and at 64 Seabring Street learn to make chocolate at Raaka Chocolate Factory.
Come ride with Red Hook’s locals and visit the highlights and spots that others do not see. “PÒTOPRENS” At Pioneer Works Art Gallery, located at 159 Pioneer Street, a home to an interdisciplinary art exhibition, where many artist around the world expose their art exhibition to seek personal enjoyment and satisfaction, to express personal thoughts and feelings, to make others see more clearly, to provide us with new visual experiences, to commemorate important events, to reinforce cultural ties and traditions, to tell stories, to uncover the unknown, to create an illusion or magic, to predict the future or to remember the past, and to make the ordinary extraordinary. It’s a style of therapy or a form of meditation, or a technique to tell the truth. For instance, “PÒTOPRENS” the exhibition on view at the Pioneer Works Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, from September 16 to November 11, 2018 demonstrates how leading Haitian visual artists are producing a captivating informal street life, religious heritage, and mythologies to create a compelling portrait of a historically significant and intensely complex city in flux.
The disturbing body of work that confronts these hardships head-on, consisting of paintings, metal and wood sculptures, and mixed-media sculptures by established artists and a new generation of self-taught genre busters, the exhibition offers bravely honest and viscerally compelling reactions to Haiti’s contemporary predicament. Their work in “Haiti Kingdom of This World” (Lisaparavisin 2011) exemplifies the exhibit’s theme of celebrating Haitian artists’ creativity and resourcefulness while challenging viewers to look beyond Haiti’s reputation for chaos, poverty, and failure. “PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince” (Pioneer Works 2018), brings together the work of over 13 artists working in the Haitian capital. The most emblematic of these rising artists, Frantz Jacques (Guyodo), have emerged onto the international art stage of biennials, galleries, and museums from a warren of junkyards, auto salvage shops, and ateliers on Port-au-Prince’s Grand Rue.
Frantz Jacques Frantz Jacques (Guyodo) have moved Haitian sculpture into a new territory by constructing huge figures out of car chassis, human skulls, tire chains, and discarded computer parts. Jacques, Frantz, was born in 1973 in the Grand Rue neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and still lives and works in the house in which he was born. As a young boy, he was employed finishing wooden items for sale to tourists. After a stint as a soccer player, he began to make art, exhibiting his work in Port-au-Prince for the first time in 1989. Guyodo was a founding member of the “Atis Rezistans” group. In 2006 he was commissioned by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, along with Andre Eugene and Jean Herard Celeur to collaborate with internationally renowned Haitian artist Mario Benjamin on a Freedom Sculpture to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.
The Freedom Sculpture toured the United Kingdom before being permanently installed in the Slavery Museum in Liverpool museum. Guyodo’s work has been exhibited in the Ghetto Biennales of 2009 and 2011, as well as in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Art made of junk. Guyodo’s oversize metal figurine standing like sentinels at the beginning of the exhibit of contemporary Haitian art are created from a mixture of scrap metal and found objects: nails, marbles, bed springs, tire treads, hubcaps, pieces of fans and other junk materials. It is anything but difficult to expel them as the unavoidable loud, sensitivity looking for results of a nation that appears to be reviled by chaos, a condition exacerbated by the debris and political squabbling left in the wake of a horrendous earthquake that struck in 2010.
There is nothing disposable or pitiful, though, about the figures. The rusty metal, the chain around the body, they seem armored for a post-apocalyptic battle. They stare with open marble eyes like a soldier posted as a guard to challenge all comers and to prevent a surprise attack or perhaps to mock the viewer with graphic gestures. Nothing about their ramrod postures suggests waiting for a handout or a visitor’s attention. Each may have been conceived from trash, yet each is a solid, clever piece that directions regard for its sharp edges. Looking at this metal figures you can feel what they went through. On the black metal of the tools, you can see small line markings the whipping of enslaved people, possible they also count the days of slavery. Other pieces give me a deep sense of fear, the longer I looked at them, in particular, those figures baby dolls, disfigured, in oppression and crucified.
The exhibition is colorful, upbeat, on the walls lots of paintings, and sculptures depict spirits and passages from the Vodou tradition. You can find old television, car parts, oxidized iron, wood pieces, old rusty bicycle, shoes, and almost any kind of material that was once cast aside. The artists have refashioned these objects into new forms and in a sense, given them entirely new lives. Atis Resistance pervades everything, it changes the way they walk, even how they breathe. Resistance means struggling for justice in all ways, in the day-to-day happenings of their neighborhood, our country, our culture, but above all their own life. The resistance that this art speaks of is linked not only to the present but also to the past, to the slaves on the French colony of Saint-Domingue, to those who first stood up to European domination.
For, many Haitians is a fundamental part of keeping history alive. They honor those who were forced from their homes and brought on slave ships to the Caribbean Islands and America with memories as their only possessions. They commemorate the millions of Africans and their descendants who fought against European domination and who in 1804, made Haiti the first black republic to break free from the colonizers who had enslaved them for hundreds of years. In ‘The Germ of the Future? Ghetto Biennale: Port-au-Prince’ Polly Savage refers to a meeting with Frantz Jacques Guyodo, a previous individual from the Atis Rezistans who regrets the manner in which that the appearing of their work has been utilized to ‘reinforce’ the generalizations so reliably connected to Haiti and its poor dominant part.
Guyodo concisely depicts the fixation on where the models are made as opposed to their incentive as bits of craftsmanship: ‘Often people focus more on the slum than the works themselves’ (Savage). There is legitimate worry that they are treated as a curiosity, especially in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. To accentuate the destitution of the Grand Rue at cost of the fine arts themselves is to think little of the significance of the Atis Rezistans. By reusing ‘everyday’ objects that have been disposed of “children’s toys, musical instruments, car parts, brand-name sneakers and electronics,” the Atis Rezistans, like different craftsmen who join these sorts of items request that we think about how these pieces ‘might finally disclose the life and longing of the constituent materials’ (Brown 207). This evaluates of materialistic culture is elevated on account of the Atis Rezistans, where the vast majority of these ‘found materials’ are made outside Haiti and imported into the nation.
As Katherine Smith states, ‘probably the only materials in the work of these artists that are actually made in Haiti are the skulls’. Haitian workmanship alludes to the past: to the nation’s joint social, profound and progressive chronicles. The Grand Rue artists look both forward and back, referencing social legacy, the present social conditions and an unmistakable vision of a future. This is a Haiti to have on your end table. It won’t instruct one of the destitution or legislative issues of Haiti. Nor will it bring groans of pity from the individuals who are seeing Haiti out of the blue. Or maybe, it will show a marvel and intensity of Haiti that has won the hearts of such a significant number of us. Love and respect to everyone who is working to share Haiti’s beauty and hope with the world, and more importantly, with all Haitian people. From ashes, Haiti will reborn same as Phoenix.