The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Little Haiti Cultural Complex/City of Miami, Hunter East Harlem Gallery and The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Miami are pleased to present the exhibition, Dust Specks on the Sea: Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti.
Curated by Arden Sherman
Curatorial assistance by Katie Hood Morgan and Marie Vickles
Dust Specks on the Sea focuses on sculptural works by over a dozen contemporary artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Haiti and addresses the various positionings of the postcolonial condition in this region. The exhibition’s title—Dust Specks on the Sea—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 mystery of an aerial view of the Caribbean archipelago, while at the same time calling into question a deep-seated 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. The French Caribbean cannot be defined solely by its beauty nor by its historical trauma; through this exhibition, we aim to contribute to a contemporary, multi-layered understanding of this region. This exhibition was generated by Hunter East Harlem Gallery at Hunter College in New York City, an institution dedicated to creating projects that build on the complicated circumstances of being a human in today’s world and bolstering the voices of creative people and thinkers. Through presenting a sculpture-based exhibition in a distinctive way—in many cases, the artworks will physically interact with one another, we hope to build a visual dialogue about how artwork can be one of the most powerful tools for personal and political expression. The second iteration of this exhibition will take place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, located in the heart of the Miami in the historically recognized “Ti Ayiti” (Little Haiti) neighborhood. The mission of the Little Haiti Cultural
Complex is to present and preserve Afro-Caribbean culture, train the next generation of leaders while leveraging arts and culture as tools for transformation and community building.
The exhibition is made possible from support generously provided by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and Hunter College. Additional sponsorship provided by the Directions of Cultural Affairs of Martinique and of Guadeloupe.
Generous support for the artwork Bananas Deluxe, by Jean-Marc Hunt, has been provided by Chiquita Brands. Tabita Rezaire’s artwork, Peaceful Warrior, was made possible by a loan from John Speier of The Crystal Cave Rock & Gem Shop, Davie, FL.