Marielle

Plaisir

Plaisir Marielle-M.DavisMalediction new.

M. Davis, Give me five guys, and I will wrap this up! Malediction of Cham Series, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York

My work explores issues of colonialism alongside those of
race and class through a range of media, which includes
painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, and,
more recently, film and performance. 

I examine, in particular, the construction of identity, and I ask what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today through new reflexes and how people who were born in the struggle of domination and power behave. I underline the common issues between US Black history and Caribbean history: the labor movements, the fights for equality through literature, philosophy

and history.

M. Davis, Give me five guys, and I will wrap this up! Malediction of Cham Series, 2020.

Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York

My work is an open window on societal behavior. The health crisis that has affected us since March 2020, the recent popular movements triggered by the death of George Floyd have made it possible to strengthen the perspectives and the axes of my work. But especially as an activist artist from the diaspora originated in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe), it pushed me to resize my perspectives by looking for new mediums in order to express or to more noticeably underline the social movements today. It is interesting to understand the links between historical events and those of today, but more visually the presence of the black body as an identity and what it represents today. It is interesting to understand how past events generate new reflexes or put in light old reflexes.

J. Baker | Malediction of Cham Series, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York

Through my series of work entitled The Malediction of Cham, I explore the domination relations

in today's American society, the historical links and common reflexes which exist within the black American communities and those of the Caribbean. The Malediction of Cham was a biblical justification for imposing slavery or racism upon black people. (Noah cursed his younger son Cham because he saw him drunk and nude. Then his skin began to burn and darkened for

coming generations).

Through my narrative, I develop a few questions: is black identity reduced to dominant-dominated relationships? Are we living in a rife of optimism, notion of progress, tinged with illusion? Is the loosening of racial naming and stereotype just a delusion that flatters the 'sensitivities' of white culture? Because my purpose is also about identity: How do people live in community with regard to their identity differences?  

J. Baker | Malediction of Cham Series, 2020

Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York

Today, in our infinitely pluralistic and globalized world, we are supposedly post-identity, post-race, post-gender or even post-human. But at the same time, the most identity politics is mobilized by the extreme ideologies or the fundamentalisms of the most reactionary forces, via the pursuit of racism and discrimination.

By exploring the lives and acts of personalities who fought in one way or another against domination (Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, Nina Simone, Pearl Primus,

Maya Angelou {....}), I illuminate the presence of the black body in its identity and as a way to fight against stereotypes. This involves the production of light boxes (Backlits) composed with collages printed on Duratrans paper and archival paper (in the background, various landscapes of the Caribbean islands), like kinds of allegories and multiple metaphors: the black body as an unbearable lightness of being.

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