JUD Newsletter winter/spring 2016

Tante Cilet
Image Of The Black Western Art
Kuba Constellation
Platform102 Brussels The constellation of Aries
Photo: courtesy of the Walker Art Center
Photo: courtesy of the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation NYC

JANUS, for which January is named, is a month of REFLECTIONS towards the RECENT PAST & EMERGING FUTURE

LOOKING FORWARD 2016 begins firmly having just been awarded the NEW Berlin Art-council’s Arbeits&Recherchestipendium Bildende Kunst 2015 Grant. THANK YOU to the jury for their critical selection as one of the first winners of this ART prize. 

Accomplishments, modest or great, are never achieved alone but rather by a confluence of supportive people and institutions who sustain an immeasurable belief in the CREATIVE process. Therefore it is with the sincerest and most humble gratitude that I would like to convey my MANY THANKS to the numerous individuals who have collaborated with me, advised me, and invited me to add my voice to the cultural stage which we all share. Thank you, I am humbled by the  generosity.

LOOKING BACK 2015 had a stellar beginning with the recent published images of my work Negerhosen2000 in The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume V: The 20C., Part 2: The Rise of Black Artists
deMenil Foundation
Harvard Press
ArtNews Magazine
As well as the same work in the recent past U.S. Press
Art In America Magazine
New York Times 
The Huffington Post (2013)

Exhibition highlights in 2015 included

PARIS:  HAITI, Two Centuries of Artistic Creation 
Le Grand Palais / Curators, Régine Cuzine & Mireille Péridon Jérôme (see PDF link for participating artists)
• Video • Brochure PDF • Press (rfi) • Catalog •

BRUSSELS: Belgian Soliloquy (Solo), Platform102
"A private curated presentation space for emerging and mid-career contemporary artists... a forum for new collectors, thinkers and art enthusiast" – O. Rynell Cash, Curator
• JUDwebsite •  Platform102.Org • Lumumba (Audio)

•NEW YORK: Between History and The Body, The Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation’s 8thFloor Gallery, Director Sara Reisman. Artists: Elia Alba, Firelei Baez, Nick Cave, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Brendan Fernandes, Jeffrey Gibson, Shaun Leonardo, Ana Mendieta, Paul Anthony Smith, Chungpo Tsering and Saya Woolfalk
• Exhibition PDF • Brochure PDF • SDRubinFoundation

PRAGUE: Kdo hraje?/Who Is Playing?, MeetFactory Gallery, Curator Jaro Varga. Artists: Olaf Breuning, Zuzanna Janin, Pawel Kruk, Annika Larsson,  Jean-Ulrick Désert, Shaun Leonardo, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Assa Kauppi
• MeetFactory • Artalk Magazine • AvantGardePrague

BERLIN: Fortschritt Karibik II , Vierte-Welt+CTP
• ClubTippingPoint • VierteWelt (Video) • BerlinBlog

MINNEAPOLIS: Radical Presence/Black
Performance in Contemporary Art, Walker Art
Center (2014-2015), Curator V.CasselOliver CAMH (Tx)
• WalkerArt.Org • Interview(Audio) • XtraOnline.Org

SAN FRANCISCO: Radical Presence/Black
Performance in Contemporary Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Curator V.CasselOliver CAMH (Tx)
• Yerba Buena Center • Catalog • SFGate Review

FORT LAUDERDALE: From Within and Without / the History of Haitian Photography , Curated by artist Edouard DuvalCarrié
• NSU Art Muse • Media Press • JUD Website • Catalog

Lecture/presentations were delivered in
•NEW YORK in the Springtime of 2015 at Columbia University for The SmallAxe CQV II Conference and in the Fall at The Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation for Between History and the Body exhibition (with artists Jeffrey Gibson and Firelei Báez).

2015 has abundantly offered teachable moments to comprehend the relevance of FAILURE and its discerning VALUE and accepting the support of friends & colleagues during unforeseen calamity - 
Therefore the year’s final lecture was given at 
Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw Poland. Organized by Paris based scholar/author Olga Stanislawska with Giscard Bouchotte curator/writer creator of the Nuit Blanche PAP Haiti and Dr.Benjamin Cope Zachęta educator, with the auspicious lecture title of “Conspicuous Invisibility/ l’invisibilité Ostentatoire" on my artistic practice and the withdrawal of the  Haiti Pavilion from the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Italy) where The Goddess Constellation / Sky Above Port au Prince Haiti 12 January 2010 21:53 UTC was originally scheduled in commemoration of the five year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake.
• Zachęta  • Art News (Polish Pavilion)
• Haiti Pavilion (digital Goddess Constellation collage)
• CAD Study(Haiti Pavilion) • Boules du ciel (public)
• Hyperallergic (featuring Goddess Constellation)

This is the first Newsletter ever sent out from my studio, I have opted against the popular newsletter services  Mail Chimp & Constant Contact but remain open to smart alternatives, do let me know your thoughts. Please enjoy the many weblinks in this first newsletter!
For the past 3 years i have taught MFA students of 

Trans Art Institute , a low-residency program a workshop course on the complexities of finding ones voice and place as well as persistence beyond the many surprises a creative life offers. We must share solutions and create doors where none exist.
• EchoChamber Diary •

“Neque Mittatis Margaritas Vestras Ante Porcos (Do Not Cast Pearls Before Swine) Mat7:6” a new Artwork was recently completed, commissioned by Small Axe Journal through The Warhol Foundation in conjunction with Caribbean Queer Visualities hosted by Yale and Columbia University. It will be published with essays by scholars of visual culture from the Caribbean and its diaspora. An exhibition is forthcoming. Notable artist/writer teams for this commission include: Ewan Atkinson, Jafari Allen, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Nadia Ellis, Andil Gosine, Leasho Johnson, Roshini Kempadoo, Kareem Mortimer, Ebony G.Patterson, Patricia Saunders, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Terri Francis, Richard Fung, Maja Horn, Nadia Huggins, Rosamond S. King, Charl Landvreugd, Angelique V. Nixon, Jerry Philogene, Jorge Piñeda, Rich Blint. 
• Small Axe • CQV1 • CQV2 • Warhol Foundation •

There are a variety of other in-progress conversations  still in formation that will slowly bring 2016 into focus. Perhaps a Yale lecture which was postponed last Fall.
Black Portraiture III is  happening this Feb. in NY. I was honored to be invited by Dr. Deb Willis for the 2013 Paris edition. Look out for a special issue of NKA Journal regarding these exceptional international conferences. • JUDBlog • Black Portraitures • 

2016 is a year in which I envision the embrace of the beauty and poetry of real and imagined histories in a neocolonial world. 
With the positive feedback from the BIAC Martinique Biennial of 2013-14 and the challenge Biennials offer in Public space I have now featured public works on my site at • JUD Website public-art
An intimate version will be available in the Caribbean at • 14n61w.org where things are warming up • Frieze
I’ve wanted to initiate an art BOOK project for years and hope to concretize some strategies and look to our combined networks to achieve this in the smartest way. My wish list of laptop and beamer and other working necessities remain challenging as always - perseverance and asking for assistance has often helped to create solutions.

One certainty of 2016 includes The Emily Harvey Foundation New York/Venice have kindly invited me as A.I.R. In Venice Italy later this year where i will produce and expand the MANUSCRIPTS Projects, scribing language in a digital age.

In 2016
Let’s talk more, let’s write more, let’s make more happen. We must enrich the world with experience.

Warm regards from cold Berlin,
Jean-Ulrick Désert

Mirta demare

Mirta demare
Mirta demare
Mirta demare
Mirta demare
Mirta demare

In August/September 2015 i had the opportunity again to work with <strong>Reál Dance Company</strong> (<em>Thomas Körtvélyessy</em>) in conjunction with his solo presentation of his choreographic work at Mirta Demare International Visual Arts <a href="http://mirtademare.nl/kunstenaar/thomas-kortvelyessy/">http://mirtademare.nl</a> of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. 

The main presentation was a several hour long loop edited by Körtvélyessy from raw video footage taken by me during his Emily Harvey Foundation residency in Venice Italy during the Spring of 2014. <a href="http://emilyharveyfoundation.org/residency/visitors_pages/T_Kortvelyessy.html">http://emilyharveyfoundation.org</a>
The videos record and archive various dance works initiated by <strong>Reál Dance Company</strong> and re-staged (The city of Venice itself being the stage) as a small retrospective of his public dance projects, notably <em>sokrates</em> and <em>walking con.sen.sus skytime</em>. 

The former is a solo-work in which his body and carefully improvised movements function as a catalyst for dance by strangers, the latter is a company piece with a choreographic formulation typical of his conceptual dance practice brought to life with local collaborative dancers associated with a dance collective<a href="http://mariannaandrigo.weebly.com/about.html"> http://mariannaandrigo.it</a> in nearby Mestre.
More details regarding these works may be seen on his websites <a href="http://con-sens-us.net/walking_consensus.html">http://con-sens-us.net</a> and <a href="http://realdancecompany.org/sokrates.html">http://realdancecompany.org/sokrates.html</a>

A third element was displayed, a collaborative effort by <em>Thomas Körtvélyessy</em> and myself with the signature of <strong>KörDés</strong> entitled <em>Dr. Love</em>  and modeled after the stock character <em>Il  Dottore della Peste</em> and his <a href="http://www.delpiano.com/carnival/html/medico_peste.html">long beaked mask</a> of the famed venetian <em>commedia dell'arte</em>.

The presentation, a choreographer/dancer in an established Rotterdam gallery had a special twist of interest, guests could make an appointment with the choreographer dubbed as Tea with Thomas for a close one on one conversation about the trajectories of his work and its influence from the conceptual dance movements that emerged from the Judson Church in New York City by such figures as <em>Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk</em> and Körtvélyessy's dance mentor the late <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/arts/dance/elaine-summers-who-meshed-dance-and-film-dies-at-89.html">Elaine Summers</a></em>.

Our previous professional engagement together was when i functioned dramaturgically on Körtvélyessy's seductively novel re-framing of Debussy's opera as a solo dance work entitled <a href="http://jeanulrickdesert.com/content/pelleas-material">Pelleas Material</a>. Some of our mutual efforts and visual insights have been fruitful and as serendipity would have it, a chance photo-op captured in one of my favorite venetian museums (Fondazione <a href="http://www.querinistampalia.org/eng/home_page.php">Querini Stampalia</a> with the noted architect <em>Carlo Scarpa</em>) would be used to feature Körtvélyessy in <strong>Conde Nast's Traveler magazine</strong> in June of this year. Congratulations to <a href="http://emilyharveyfoundation.org/residency/guests%20photos%20copy/T_Kortvelyessey_2.jpg">Thomas</a> for much of this years many achievements.

Echo Chamber 2015

It's that time of year again, midsummer, and I will be teaching/leading the Art & The Echo Chamber Workshop that i devised two years ago or so for TransArtInstitute ( a Low residency MFA/PhD. program). 

It was unclear if it would expand to three days as I had requested even though it was the first last year to fill-up. This year there will be 14 participants which is several beyond the 12 I had asked as a limit. The content of the workshop deserves a full semester and every year there are more and more issues which come into better focus since the art world(s) as we know it is by no means static.

The course is not a history class nor is it a theory class nor is it "best practices" but rather about awareness of the many factors that will come into play around your life as an artist in the early 21st Century, an arguably different state than say the mid 20th Century.

Today we live in a world where ART is still cherished but it is also functioning in tandem with the world of financial services. To understand art today is to understand the mysteries of value and the creation of value.
It is a world with not only artists and their collectors but also one of gallerists and art-consultants as well as artist-coaches. It is a world oc historians and curators and artist-curators. It is a world of auction hauses and collector gallerists. It is a world where artists and their wares are ranked and their production judged before they are produced. It is a world of buzz and the monatizing of buzz.

Ocula in Collaboration with Platform Projects Singapore presents Alexandra A. Seno &amp; Dr. Sarah Thornton in Conversation.

The participants must fully immerse themselves into the content as laid out by six BLOGGER posts noted also on my two earlier diary posts below

Advice (knowledge) about the realities of the art worlds come from many varying (sometimes oppositional) sources...

Test Title
It's that time of year again, midsummer, and I will be teaching/leading the Art & The Echo Chamber Workshop that i devised two years ago or so for TransArtInstitute ( a Low residency MFA/PhD. program).
Test Title
It's that time of year again, midsummer, and I will be teaching/leading the Art & The Echo Chamber Workshop that i devised two years ago or so for TransArtInstitute ( a Low residency MFA/PhD. program).
Test Title
It's that time of year again, midsummer, and I will be teaching/leading the Art & The Echo Chamber Workshop that i devised two years ago or so for TransArtInstitute ( a Low residency MFA/PhD. program).
Test Title

Echo Chamber 2014

Echo Chamber 2014
Echo Chamber 2014
Echo Chamber 2014

<strong><em>"A great dealer does a good job for the collector but a great job for artists. A great adviser does a good job for the artists but a great job for the collector"</em></strong> – (7Days in the art world)

This has been the second summer that I have taught the <em>Art and the Echo-Chamber</em> course/workshop for<a href="http://www.transart.org/event/art-and-the-echo-chambers-your-art-practice-in-critical-times-jean-ulrick-desert/"> TransArt Institute</a> Low-residency MFA program (based in New York City) as they pass through Berlin.
It was packed with 16 MFA candidates passing through the program which spends  about a month here in Berlin. Aside from my course I spent some time giving a (pecha-kucha styled) presentation of my art-practice as well as an afternoon of critiques to about 4 students of the program.  I previously posted about last years first-edition here on this Diary/Blog at Art & the Echo Chamber <a href="http://jeanulrickdesert.com/content/echo-chamber-workshop">workshop 2013*</a>

The course addresses artists working in various modes of operation, be it small or large, crafty or not, abstract paintings to horse & pony paintings. We had photographers working within a social consciousness framework, we had a part time gallerist as well as a dancer/performer as well as teachers engaged in creative practice in the USA as well as in the middle-east and Africa.
The course was given at the <a href="http://www.uferstudios.com/uferstudios-en-US/profil-en-US/">Ufer Studios</a> facilities which is know as a growing venue of good repute mostly for movement/performance works in Berlin. 

This year I expanded the course work a bit more to accommodate the phenomena of<a href="http://theechochamberworkshop.blogspot.de/2014/07/branding-art-spectacle.html"> Art as spectacle</a>. 
as well as a number of small other alterations. 
The MFA students were very motivated by the daunting complexity of the necessary conversations about the international art-world(s) artists must currently navigate. It was an exhausting experience for us all given the stress and anxiety  the various topics elicit. The MFA candidates were required to read/hear/watch all of the blog posts (as well as PDF reading materials distributed  through our internal system) as preparation for the conversations. And, as we also experienced last year, there were students of varying degrees of experience and knowledge (admittedly this is not a course for beginners). Next year we are discussing expanding the workshop and perhaps this will allow for the additional nuances of the many topics covered in an extremely full day of discussions and activities.
In an effort to keep their minds alert and sharp to the many modalities of artistic practice I sent the participants in late August a recommendation to see a show (currently on view) at the Victoria Albert museum in the uk <a href="www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/disobedient-objects">www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/disobedient-objects</a> 
In 2015 I will consider expanding the coursework.
 – Jean-Ulrick D
PS- An artist advocacy website: <a href="http://artanddebt.org/">www.artanddebt.org</a>

The "Value" of art

From one of the blog audio interviews

The great art "bubble"

The great art "bubble"

End of a Gagosian era

Art Market is less Ethical than the Stock Market / Part1 of 13

75min DIY documentary film on new art and the young artists behind it. Filmed on ®NOVA Contemporary Culture 2010, MIS-Museum of Image and Sound, and SESC Pompeia,  São Paulo, Brazil.

The Passion for Tone

The Passion for Tone

I love this photo by architect Steven Keith from the opening night of Between History And The Body at The 8th Floor Gallery of the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation. His image is reminiscent in tone and scale to an Edward Hopper painting, without ever being literal to any particular painting. The careful composition of the studious guest reading the label indications regarding my artwork. She is solitary and focused wearing what one might characterize as a the sign of a 20th Century femininity a timeless feminine dress of leisure and grace. Her figure is silhouetted within a gap of space, as if  that space were her own personal canvas and frame. A picture within a picture highlighted by a splendid pouf of auburn hair and anchored by sturdy legs and sensible shoes.  My work itself being merely a part of a larger more complex composition, fragmented, offering a teasing glimpse of an imagined landscape of veiled bodies but more importantly "people" in the Hoppernian sense. The fortuitous contrast between the two subjects could hardly be better, each carefully measured as a signifier of many peoples, she of a well cultured class who value nuance, they a museum public performing the carnivalesque for the camera in the safety of an anonymity of hooliganism.

Mr.Keith's other photo  indicates a fuller presentation of my artwork The Passion with numerous guests looking closely while in conversation. I would risk guessing that the wonderful splash of red hair is probably one of New York's important figures of the Performance Art history Martha Wilson.

Many thanks to the artistic director Sara Reisman and her perceptive curatorial team George Bolster and Anjuli Nanda in bringing this larger show together. I believe we all share this sensitivity towards capturing tone.

More about this exhibition may be found on their website Between History and the Body July 9th - October 16th, 2015
Between History and the Body is an exhibition that looks closely at the ways in which cultural identity is defined, how it is used as a force of exclusion, and how it works as a unifying and transformative energy among artists of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Between History and the Body features artists Elia Alba, Firelei Baez, Nick Cave, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Brendan Fernandes, Jeffrey Gibson, Shaun Leonardo, Ana Mendieta (†), Paul Anthony Smith, Chungpo Tsering and Saya Woolfalk, who work across a variety of media including sculpture, painting, photography, performance and video. Together, these artists generate dialogue on cultural identity and history through representation of the body as an active force in ritual, both historic and imagined, and as an agent in the production of relics that communicate narratives of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

NOTE: More images from The Passion may be found on this website's main pages  and more back-stories on the JUD Diary/Blog

Constructing Tante Cilet

This is a video draft of Comment Nannite est devenu tante Cilet so kindly taken for me the day of the NSU Art museum opening 25 June 2015 in Fort Lauderdale Florida. 

This project was created primarily from Berlin Germany after a brief trip to New York City to document images from our disparate "family albums". After our family's untimely departure from Haiti in the late 1960s during the Francois Duvalier era we have lost so many images that record the private lives of our families. Through the years as the now haitian diaspora we have made numerous relocations which has continued to result in the loss of images. My father always sustained a small photographic hobby as far back as the early 1960s around the time of my birth. In the USA he would soon discover the slide-transparency film format popular among millions in the 1970s. A newly single mother of the 1980s offered a new re-framing of her familial role now that so many other family members had through the years emigrated to the North American continent.

This project was concretely developed using the assistance of computer aided drafting to formulate in virtual 3D the stacked moving boxes that would coordinate with the selection of images that would be appropriate to create the implicit narrative of my mothers life from childhood to old age.

The project was modified from its original vision which encompassed a larger Haitian diaspora "family" by accessing existing archives, such as Pikliz in Florida and elsewhere.

I had contemplated an audio environment with music from my youth such as the Haitian band Tabou Combo, from Petionville Port au prince, with the diaspora anthem entitled "New York City". 

The band had relocated to Brooklyn in 1970 and formed part of the Haiti abroad community that this installation originally strived to convey. I had assumed , incorrectly, that the installation could/would have its own isolated room. It was always intended to be large and in the end is approximately ±13 ft (4meters) x ±10ft (3meters) in height. My formation as an architect and years of museum exhibition design work has made strategizing scale almost second nature to my art practice.

My photo documentation trip to New York (miraculously unwritten by Small Axe Journal & the Warhol Foundation and unrelated to the NSU Art Museum) allowed for this work to be created. During this trip I realized that this particular installation artwork would revolve around my mother. She had come to be known through the years, to the surprise of my brother and I,  by all family (not only by our cousin Ketlie) members and extended friends as "tante Cilet". Therefore the project was titled Comment Nannite est devenu tantet Cilet or in English "How Nannite Became Aunt Cilet" (Nannite being a mondegreen/malapropism from a Spanish-language song in the late 1930s).

Short Video DRAFT
Haitian diaspora band Tabou Combo

World Cup comes to Germany

World Cup comes to Germany
World Cup comes to Germany
World Cup comes to Germany
World Cup comes to Germany

This was a huge effort from every direction. It was a great effort none the less to have done. An action, a lecture, a sculpture-installation etc.

I hadn't known much about soccer before this project but grew to really like the game and ignore it's deficits. Sometimes the museums lobby was too full with enthusiastic participants and it was good that i had been set up with several assistants for the project.

The lecture was given in a large hall in a park where the Münchners isolate their night-clubs. I took the time to put together a series of video excerpts on hooliganism in the game and the international nature of the madness of fan-culture from Africa to Asia to Europe, each with their own small details.

Soccer is very popular all over the world and there is no exception with German soccer <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/germanyinusa/the-definitive-ranking-of-all-german-national-socc-fr91">http://bzfd.it/1odw1m7</a>
Take a note of my photo of German soccer fans and their fetishized costumes that have served as a guide for this project of erasure.

I made it a point to mention during the presentation, various types of "erasure", not only my own artistic gesture, but that of erasing such historical figures such as the football/soccer-player Justin Fashanu who committed suicide in the aftermath of coming out as a gay person.

The way in which history is discussed reveals various tonalities of national and international politics and the dynamics of one group against another. Tribalism can easily emerge or be reinforced. Take for exampel the manner in which in 1974 the World Soccer match between ITALY and HAITI (my birthplace) is discussed-  "<span class="small">What The Guardian said: Hugh McIlvanney, 16 June 1974:
<a href="http://www.haitiantreasures.com/HT_IMAGES/national_team.damien.jpg">The Footballers of Haiti,</a> who came from the Caribbean for this World Cup knowing that at best they would be patronised, at worst dismissed as imposters, gave the competition one of its genuinely electric moments here tonight when they took the lead against Italy – by beating Dino Zoff, a goalkeeper who had not conceded a goal in an international match since September 1972. Emmanuel Sanon, a powerfully built and spiritedly <ins>aggressive black</ins> forward from Port-au-Prince, did what some of the greatest players in the world had failed to do in Zoff's 12 previous games for Italy.

Sanon thus goes straight into the folklore of his country along with Francillon, a goalkeeper of <ins>supernatural </ins>brilliance on the night, and Vorbe, the <ins>one white man</ins> in the Haitian team and the source of the magnificent pass that made Sanon's goal and of much else that was excellent. Italy moved Facchetti inside to smother the dangerous Sanon, tired out Vorbe and his helpers and finally broke down Francillon's resistance. So Haiti lost clearly enough in the end but anyone who calls them imposters from now had better have the decency to blush.

There is nothing like an inspired goalkeeper for winning the affections of a neutral crowd and Francillon, <ins>dark</ins>, handsome and theatrically defiant, had turned the German spectators into fervent supporters of Haiti long before the first half was over. Even the Italians, who had started to assemble with their red-white-and-green flags and their horns before breakfast, intent on spending the whole sunless day in delicious anticipation of a slaughter, were reduced to a muted buzz of respect as Francillon reached shot after shot, header after header. Sometimes he hurled himself about his goal with an almost<ins> frenzied agility</ins>, happy to make <ins>violent </ins>contact with the ball and beat it coarsely away from his line. In other moments, and more frequently as his confidence was fed by his own successes, he leapt gracefully to make solid, clutching saves. Mazzola and Riva and Chinaglia shook their heads and threw their arms wide in exasperation as the minutes oozed away and Haiti refused to <ins>surrender</ins>.</span>" Click here for the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/apr/29/25-stunning-world-cup-moments-haiti-italy-1974">SOURCE</a> 

The soccer field as a stage/platform for complex issues of human dignity, prejudices, hegemony and empire have a long history in support or against foreign bodies *(including players or fans of the LGBT communities).

Heimat Haiti Forward & Beyond

It's late October and I am scrambling on the final stretches of the new works to be presented at the Grand Palais in November 2014. <a href="http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/haiti">Haïti. Deux siècles de création artistique</a>  ( HAITI Two Centuries of Artistic Creation 1828-2014)  Opening 18 November 2014 until 15 February 2015 . Here is a<a href="http://lenouvelliste.com/lenouvelliste/article/135986/Haiti-a-lhonneur-au-Grand-Palais.html"> LeNouvelliste</a> article recently sent to me from Mr.Désert Sr.

I have just completed 6 nights of a <em>Kunstaktion</em> (art-action) in Berlin-Kreuzberg at <em>Vierte Welt</em> and alternative theater space in a program entitled "<em>Fortschritt Karibik</em>" where there was an evening which included a watching of Raoul Peck's film "Assistance Mortelle" regarding the NGO invasion of Haiti.
Images from the Art-Action may be seen at <a href="http://ctp-berlin.com/de/ctp-3.3.1-kunst-create-carribean-community-and-diaspora">www.ctp-berlin.com/de/ctp-3.3.1-kunst-create-carribean-community-and-diaspora</a>

For a long while now I have wanted to make a post regarding Haiti and "Nostalgia"- 
But this will emerge in drips and drabs because the "moment NOW" is so much more rich and full of potential for the future. Though i have had nothing to do with their work, their smarts, their hard-work, I am none the less moved that we share dna and try as we do in our own individual ways to be an inspiration and leave a small legacy of affirmative and provocative "actions" within the Haitian community(ies), its diaspora and beyond.

Splendid work by Haitians such as Emeline Désert (see below) <em>Brief Interview of Emeline Désert</em> <a href="http://youtu.be/sD6dgWtx0hg">http://youtu.be/sD6dgWtx0hg</a>

And inspirational monologues to all Haitians from Carolyn Désert (see below) <em>New Miss Haiti 2014 Carolyn Desert</em> <a href="http://youtu.be/SZmxQPHO924">http://youtu.be/SZmxQPHO924</a>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SZmxQPHO924?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Here are <a href="http://artdream.tumblr.com/post/74002734133/1960-miss-haiti-contestants">Miss Haiti contestants</a> from 1960 

And I still love the fact that Alex Désert (see below) is such a sweetheart with Kids

But Alex is still the mad hipster (see below) with a <em>velvet voice</em> in Pop culture in <strong>HEPCAT</strong> and now <strong>The Lions</strong> -<em> Sweet Soul Music</em> 

A contemporary of  Jean-Jean Désert  FRANCOIS BENOIT (see below) has impressed me tremendously with his hydroponic farm <a href="http://youtu.be/6can_oFUZzs">http://youtu.be/6can_oFUZzs</a>

I had missed the opportunity to meet the filmmaker RAOUL PECK (see 20min  interview below) when he came through Berlinfor the premiere of his film Assistance Mortelle during the Berlinale2013  <a href="http://youtu.be/T4Yj2pxdqtY">http://youtu.be/T4Yj2pxdqtY</a>


5 Years After Quake

5 Years After Quake

<span class="small">(Photo of JnU Désert: courtesy of Didier Plowy for Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais service presse)</span>

It fills me with great pleasure that at the moment my large artwork " Sky Above Port-au-prince Haiti 12 January 2010 21:53 UTC" which serves as a marker and memorial for the devastating seismic events of five years ago. The Haitian author <a href="http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dany_Laferri%C3%A8re">Dany Laferrière</a> comments on his own reflections while viewing this artwork at the Grand Palais's "HAITI" exhibition November 2014 – February 2015

In the last several days while Paris grieves/reacts to the unjustifiable murders at the headquarters of the french satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, we have been approaching the fifth year anniversary of 12 January 2010 when more than 200,000 people would lose their lives in Haiti.
I wanted to post my findings but most of what i saw online (video réportages and online newspapers) were in some way in my opinion, objectionable. I was neither interested in "poverty-porn"  nor finger pointing political posturing regarding the state of affairs on the island. Example one (Youtube <a href="http://youtu.be/6L6QgYkvNz0">Link</a>) and example two (Youtube <a href="http://youtu.be/cJFoNDj_o8g">Link</a>).
<iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jt6HZiKYMB0?rel=0&amp;controls=0&amp;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Please consult the website where the FULL array of presentations may be seen:
<a href="http://asoapboxinhaiti.com/">www.a Soap Box in Haiti.com</a>
(mentioned in this online program "Remembrance Haiti's Earthquake 2010 " in this<a href="http://youtu.be/y9raVrIiNcY"> Link</a>)
Here are several examples
Film school Jacmel:

A rather mainstream presentation:

A "faustian" enterprise:

And an insightful commentary by the late HC

Les Ruines

In conjunction with Arabesque / The Goddess Temple an artwork that recreates the imaginary ruins of the 1928 modernist Adolf Loos Parisian villa of Josephine Baker using draped velvet embossed with fragments of the epic poem El Atlal الأطلال (The Ruins) in its original Arabic. The metaphor of ruins is used in a poem of love and desire.
This page offers several online sources of the Egyptian Oum Kalthoum, a contemporary of Josephine Baker and known as the Fourth Pyramid, epic interpretations of El Atlal الأطلال (The Ruins) subtitled  in French and English versions. The following is a french language translation from the arabic:
الأطلال  Les ruines–
Les ruines, Mon coeur, ne me demandes pas où notre amour s'en est allée. Ce n'était qu'une citadelle de mon imagination qui s'est effondrée, Étanche moi de ma soif, et laisse moi boire de ses ruines. Aussi longtemps que mes larmes continuent de couler, raconte leur l'histoire en mon nom, Dis leurs comment cette amour est devenue un passé, Comment elle est devenue un objet de douleur.

Je ne t'ai pas oublié, Et tu m'a séduite, me susurrant de douces, tendres et trompeuses paroles, Avec une main qui s'étendait vers moi comme une main tendue à travers les vagues, à une personne se noyant, Et comme une lumière cherchant un vagabond, Mais où est cette lumière dans tes yeux ?

Mon chéri, j'ai visité ton nid, comme un oiseau désirant chanter sa peine, Tu es devenue vaniteux, gâté, et capricieux, Et tu infliges du torts comme un puissant tyran corrompu, Et mon désir pour toi cautérise mes côtes, mon âme, mes entrailles, Ah ces moments étaient des braises dans mon sang.

Rends moi ma liberté, libère mes mains, Moi, je t'ai donné la tienne, et je n'ai pas essayé de te retenir, Ahh, tes chaînes ont ensanglantées mes poignets, Pourquoi sont-ils encore là alors que je ne t'affecte plus? Pourquoi dois-je tenir des promesses que tu n'honores plus? J'en ai assez de cette prison, maintenant le monde m'appartient.

Qu'il est loin, mon bien-aimé séducteur si plein de fierté, d'orgueil, de majesté et de délicatesse, D'un pas assuré, il marche comme un roi d'une beauté oppressante, et avide de gloire; Parfumé de charme tel la douce brise des vallées, Agréable à vivre comme les rêves de la nuit, J'ai perdu à jamais, le charme de ta compagnie qui rayonnait avec éclat, Et moi, errant en amour, tel un papillon égaré, je t'ai approchée.

Et entre nous, le désir était un messager, rempli et présenté dans des tasses dont nous avons bu à grande gorgée, L'amour a-t-il déjà vu deux personnes aussi intoxiquées que nous ? Nous avons construits tellement d'espoir autour de nous, Et nous avons marchés au clair de lune, sautillant et de la joie nous entourant, Et ensemble, nous avons ri comme deux enfants, Et nous avons couru, et dépassé notre ombre.

Mais nous avons pris conscience après l'euphorie et nous nous sommes réveillés,.. Oh, si seulement nous nous étions pas réveillés.. L'éveil a ruiné les rêves du sommeil, La nuit est venue, et la nuit est devenue ma seule amie, Puis la lumière a présagé le lever du soleil, et l'aube a dominé la nuit comme un incendie, Et avec le monde tel que nous le connaissons, avec chaque amant suivant son propre chemin.

Oh toi qui ne dort plus, qui sommeille et ne te rappelle ta promesse que lorque tu te réveilles, Sache que si une plaie commence à guérir, une autre surgit avec la mémoire, Alors apprends à oublier, et apprends à effacer.
Mon amour, tout chose est destinée, Ce n'est pas par nos mains que nous créons notre malheur, Peut être qu'un jour, nos destins se croiseront quand notre désir de se rencontrer sera assez fort, Car si l'un nie l'autre, et que nous nous rencontrons comme des étrangers, Et si chacun de nous suit son propre chemin, Ne dit pas que c'était par notre volonté, Mais plutôt, la volonté du destin....

http://lyricstranslate.com/fr/alatlal: Source (translated: 26/01/2014 - 15:39):

(1h7min) Oum Kalthoum. The Ruins الأطلال English subtitles*
(59min) A clearer visual film recording of the same song Al Atlal -Arabic texts and more animated version by Oum Kalthoum
(44min) Special *colorized (3D holographic) rendition
(1h22min) HD AUDIO only (via Youtube) with explanation(in arabic)