Archive: HCX Collaboration | VOCES with Edouard Duval-Carrié at El Museo del Barrio

Edouard Duval-Carrié is the returning brother. Having relocated to Puerto Rico very young and returned back to Haiti at the formative age of 15, he was immediately impressed by the cultural production of Haiti and became quickly enthralled in discovering Haiti’s visual art.

In his casual discussion with Professor Jerry Philogene of Dickinson College, Duval-Carrié opened up about his past and the influences from the canon of Haitian Naive painters at the infamous Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince. The audience in the El Café of El Museo del Barrio’s ground floor snickered as he recounted a younger version of himself pestering the brilliant old heads about the quality of his paintings.

Duval-Carrié found that he was attracted to these artists more so than the established Eurocentric art houses in the capital because he felt the Haitian Naive masters had a special element; “It was very political,” the images painted were an anti-reality that resisted the present situation. “What we portray is not how we lived but how we wished we lived.”

Edouard Duval-Carrié is a chronicler. He explained to the audience how he has used his art as both a discovery of personal artistic identity but also of contextualizing himself and his work.
Duval-Carrié uses his pieces to recount stories that have been un-archived, forgotten or looked over in Haitian history. The influence of Vodou & Haitian folk culture in his pieces speaks directly to how he tells these stories of the past and present. In the twelve-paneled piece “Altar to the 9 Slaves,” we see the story of the transatlantic passage of enslaved Africans to the fields of the Caribbean sugar plantations and into the afterlife. Created as part of the French government’s bicentennial, played off the absence of a cathedral or altar tribute to France’s original industrial labor force. In one of the paintings showed vivid interpretations of various iconic Vodou gods fleeing Haiti in a boat and landing on in the Miami banks of the MacArthur Causeway. These stories of physical movement and social commentary position Duval-Carrié’s work as a border-walker.Philogene asked our featured artist if Vodou would safely be a surest starting point to viewing and understanding his work. As huge projections of Gran Bwa, Ezili and Baron Samedi flicked across the screen, Edouard responded in a cool agreement. There are also the deep context of lost or forgotten histories and migrations.

Edouard Duval-Carrié is definitely a contemporary artist. The fact he regards his work as a sort of creative research project allows him to push the limits of his creativity with an exciting irreverence that creates even truer telling of the content. His primary medium choice appears to be vivid acrylics in turquoise, an array yellows, bright reds and lush greens, Duval-Carrié’s innovative use of medium has begun reshaping the way people view Vodou gods. “Vodou is a very human religion,” Edouard said. He views the gods as teachers or guides to be emulated. Indeed the humanistic flaws of the Vodou gods is what makes them so attractive. And Edouard’s interpretations of the deities, in ornate regalia with their arms and legs akimbo, dangling and overlapped, gazes comfortably staring off into space or directly at the viewer, one feels as if they would just as easily visit you in a dream.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:53 pm and is filed under An n' Pale, Archive, Arts, Events, Exhibitions, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Public Forums, Visual Art. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.