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
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre