The Uninvited Guest
For instance, Haiti is the first Pan-African state. You have so many different tribes intermingling after having been put thru slavery, remembering what? What could they remember but their sorrow, you know?
- What they brought with them and kept from Africa were bits and pieces of various cultures. I guess the aesthetics we end up with in this case is a shanty town aesthetic with everything usable being incorporated into the work. For me, it is like that. - EDC
by Gérald Alexis
The Panthéon Vaudou by Edouard Duval-Carrié reveals a new experience in the representation of the deities of the popular religion of Haiti. It comes in the wake of multiple such efforts already carried out by popular painters and voodoo practitioners from Haiti as for example Hector Hyppolite and André Pierre. Every one of them has sought, in his own way, to give shape and color to the core of humanity of this loas which inhabits their daily life.
The wish to represent deity has always been a concern of Edouard Duval-Carrié since he began attending the Centre d'Art de Port-au-Prince. As a noninitiate to voodoo, he has had to resort to the sources which nourish voodoo's stories, legends and mysteries. Today this is still the essence of his work. His pictorial language is based on the fantastic images created by his predecessors: the painters so-called "primitive" due to their freedom of expression and "naive" due to their straightforwardness.
In order to achieve his Panthéon Vaudou, Edouard Duval-Carrié left behind the colored paintings he has been doing for more than 20 years for sculpture. This new experience was crafted in bronze in order to address the "eternal character" needed to craft the image of this loas, to which the artist also wishes to convey "eternity." The chosen format, the bust, is also a formula usually adopted since classical times to create a visage for an eternal God or to convey godlike qualities to men, whom we wished to be immortal.
However, the Panthéon Vaudou by Edouard Duval-Carrié is not an altar nor a sanctuary. For voodoo, the small statues or painted images - whether painted by Hector Hyppolite, André Pierre or Nacius Joseph or others - are not traditional representations of divinity. Therefore, they are not idols. In fact it is the vèvè, a cryptic drawing made on the floor, which fulfills this function which, in other cultures, are given to small statues and images.
Therefore, the 30 sculptures in bronze by Edouard Duval-Carrié are not supposed to be looked on with any special consideration other than the one we reserve for artworks. They are art pieces, and each one of them has its own characteristics. However, they form a coherent set, one work, which is current in all the meanings of the word. Together, these sculptures invite us to enter a mythological and magic world where we retrieve the tradition of thinking, some elements of concepts, some fragments of rituals and some religious uncertainty. They also invite us to listen from within a clear perspective - which can veil the political fiction - which the practice of the loas sometimes brings about. In short, they invite us to experience the poetry they convey, a very particular poetry which talks about the miscegenation of the artist who created them.
- Edouard Duval-Carrie
- Size: 58x49 Framed
- Medium: Acrylic
- Support: Canvas
- For Sale by Private Collector