Exhibition of the week: Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou, Nottingham Contemporary
Zoe Pilger is an art critic for The Independent and winner of the 2011 Frieze International Writers Prize. Her first novel, Eat My Heart Out, will be published by Serpent's Tail in February 2014. She is also researching a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the subject of romantic love and sadomasochism in the work of contemporary female artists. She has appeared on BBC's The Review Show and Sky News
Saturday 17 November 2012
This exhibition is exceptional for many reasons. To collect so many wonderful works in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake is a feat. Moreover, the artists do not belong to the Haitian elite, trained in European art schools, but to the country's urban and rural poor.
Often mislabelled "naïve" or "primitive" art, these paintings, sculptures, and sequinned flags are rooted in the vodou tradition, which is revealed to be a source of imagination and defiance, the will to be free manifest in magic. Vodou Lwa (spirits) are re-invented according to fashion; they appear as flaneurs, pirates, Disney-esque mermaids.
Pierrot Barra transforms a cabbage-patch doll into a spirit adorned with beads, stones, and coins; Jacques-Enguerrand Gourgue's Zombis shows a funeral procession of men with hollow eyes, the imagery of binding evoking centuries of slavery.
Spanning 70 years, these works are passionately in tune with Haiti's revolutionary past.
(0115 948 9750; nottinghamcontemporary.org) to 6 Jan
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him Wembley Stadium tickets after that rant
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels: 'Kendrick Lamar is killing it, but radios are too afraid to play him'
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes