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"Dust Specks on the Sea" at Hunter East Harlem Gallery

Ultra Wet by Tabita Rezaire

Hunter East Harlem Gallery presents the exhibition Dust Specks on the Sea: Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti which is to open on November 7, 2018, in the presence of artists Julie Bessard, Hervé Beuze, Ronald Cyrille, Jean-Marc Hunt, Fabiola Jean-Louis, and Vladimir Cybil Charlier. Opening reception begins at 6pm and will be followed by a live musical performance of original composition by Haitian composer Carmen Brouard, performed by Mariel Mayz on piano and Alev Gokce Erem on violin (at 7:15pm). On November 8, an afternoon discussion & artist walk-thru willl be open and free to the public from 3pm to 6pm.

Dust Specks on the Sea: Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti focuses on sculptural works by over a dozen contemporary artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, and Haiti and addresses the various positionings of the postcolonial condition in this region.

The exhibition’s title is derived from a quote by former French President Charles de Gaulle, describing his view of the French Caribbean islands from an airplane in 1964. De Gaulle’s description speaks to the almost otherworldly and mysterious qualities the aerial view displays of the Caribbean archipelago, while at the same time calling into question a deeply-rooted hierarchical perspective stemming from France’s history as a powerful colonizing force in the Caribbean. In 1902, the eruption of the volcano Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique, destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, killing approximately 30,000 people in a matter of minutes. Poignant photographic images of the “worst volcanic disaster of the early 20th century” show the volcano’s dusty plume looming above the sparkling waters of the Caribbean; these visual documents allude to the complex and loaded sentiments of de Gaulle’s quote—the duality of perspective.

Exhibiting artists are: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Julie Bessard, Hervé Beuze, Jean-François Boclé, Alex Burke, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Gaëlle Choisne, Ronald Cyrille, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Kenny Dunkan, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Adler Guerrier, Jean-Marc Hunt, Fabiola Jean-Louis, Nathalie Leroy-Fiévée, Audry Liseron-Monfils, Louisa Marajo, Ricardo Ozier-Lafontaine, Jérémie Paul, Marielle Plaisir, Tabita Rezaire, and Yoan Sorin.

This exhibition was made possible by the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and Hunter College. Additional support was provided by the Departments of Cultural Affairs of Martinique and Guadeloupe.