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7876: Re: Voodoo Exhibition 3. Thanks for tips on my 1st post,still , RTF. Perhaps more later. (fwd)

From: bobrix@juno.com

VOODOO:SPIRITS IN HAITIAN ART                                            
  R.C. Brictson
May 5,2001 -February, 2002                                               
        May, 2001

This new VOODOO exhibition at the Museum Of Man in San Diego's Balboa
Park consists of more than one hundred objects from 50 artists dating
from 1947 through 2001-paintings, beaded flags,  Voodoo paraphernalia,
and sculptures fashioned from steel oil drums or wood. Jacmel artist
Prefete Duffaut introduces his "Island of Haiti-2001" in a new work that
incorporates twelve lwa (spirits) dispersed like "apostles'' as guardians
across the terrain. The show also includes a 13-minute film by Jonathan
Demme that celebrates the talent and perspectives of Edger Jean Baptiste
who recalls his career before his blindness in 1985. He is renowned for
his vivid crepuscular sunsets, narrative art and voodoo spirits. All the
works are from the private collection of La Jolla resident Dr. Robert
Brictson who also lives in Jacmel, Haiti, a 17th century coffee port
where he has owned a gingerbread  gallery-home since 1973.

Voodoo evolved as the predominant religion of the Haitian people by
merging many
traditions imported by enslaved Africans to the New World. Black and
Carib peoples
endured dehumanizing, tyrannical conditions for five centuries. The
diaspora and their exposure to European traditions, including Roman
Catholic practices, defined and differentiated Voodoo beliefs and
rituals. Art inspired by Voodoo provides new insights on the beauty and
mystery of Afro-Caribbean religion and culture. The show celebrates
resilience, imagination and creativity emerging from a turbulent history
of conquest, migration, genocide, greed, missionary fervor, slavery,
persecution, colonial racism and despotism. Creative variations and
visions in the arts emerged from revolution, independence in 1804 and
isolation of the first black republic as it evolved in a Caribbean
context where slavery continued for another 80 years. Voodoo spirits also
serve as muses, inspiring the miracle of Haitian art that has since 1945
been internationally acclaimed by museums, galleries, authors, critics
and collectors.

Basically,  the collection challenges Hollywood images of Caribbean
religion and culture. Films portray menacing zombies rising from the dead
and dark jungle voodoo rites targeting innocent intruders. Scenes of
curses, spells, possession, blood sacrifice and hints of cannibalism
distort the heritage and practices of Haitian religion and Afro-Caribbean
cultures. Since the 1930's sensationalized views have been foisted on
American consciousness by Pop culture storytellers working in Hollywood
dream factories. More recently, public figures seeking memorable sound
bites also perpetuate negative stereotypes by ridicule of voodoo
economics or science. Uninformed or thoughtless media, politicians and
musicians hope audiences will respond to such
tabloid prose and pejorative use. Fortunately, anthropologists,
ethnologists, art historians and other scholars have traced the rituals
and their context, linking them to African roots and pantheons. New
patterns emerged in this Caribbean crucible, transformed by the slave
trade, colonial exploitation and the mix of indigenous and exotic

(619) 239-2001   www.museumofman.org.
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