Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Alex Burke was born in Martinique in 1944 and now works in France.
Working from memory and historical narratives has been a way to question my "collective memory," to summon the constituent elements of the Caribbean identity. I have tried to make that confused past become visible; I have placed objects together and created a world of odds and ends. That is the very characteristic of the Caribbean: building up on a field of ruins, fertilizing a field of corpses, patching things up, making treasure of nothing (“Exhibitions: Infinite Island”).
This is a reference to African Vodun, “where dolls become the embodiment of the invisible spirit.” Vodum and other cultural references focus on the positive aspects of one’s identity and continuously remind people of their roots, and thus the strength of their identity.
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is a Cuban-American painter and installation artist.
In another work, Spoken Softly with Mama, from 1998, she represented her family and past slave families through video images, fabric, furniture, sound, and objects. Campos-Pons spoke about the installation and the influence of space and material objects on identity:
A space can bear the imprint of its inhabitants even in their absence. An object can personify an individual even more than his or her portrait. This is the concept behind the selection of objects- furniture for the installation; a portrait of a family narrated through the voices of objects that constitute their environment (Congdon, 54, 55).