The trip to Martinique (via Paris CDG transfer to Orly) was rich and full of experiences.
This was (and still is until mid-january 2014) the first edition of Martinique's BIENNALE led by its director <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-interview-exclusive-johanna-auguiac-celenice-directrice/"><em>Johanna Auguiac-Célénice</em></a>. <em>Ms.Auguiac-Célénice</em> curated the various artists in residency, like myself, who were commissioned to create new public artworks especially for this first edition of BIAC.
A number of us were placed at the <a href="http://www.villamelissa.fr/villa-melissa.php?vacances=trois-ilets&img=3">Villa Melissa</a> of Trois-ilets, where i was able to finally meet the Domican born and based artist <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-interview-exclusive-jorge-pineda-artiste-dominicain/"><em>Jorge Pineda</em></a> whose work I have enjoyed for a number of years, this experience in Martinique afforded us this possibility. Our other residency neighbors were <em>Carlos Estevez </em>and Guillaume (who goes by the artist name of <em>Remed</em> which means remedy/medicine in french).
My work "<strong>Amour Colère Folie- a temporary monument to resistance</strong>" was placed in the <em>Terre-Saintville</em> neighborhood of Fort de France known for its Haitian and Domican immigrant population. To be place in and around the fountain of Place Abbey Grégoire facing the roman-catholic church of<em> Saint Antoine</em>.
The Uprising Magazine interview with art journalist <em>Clelia Coussonnet</em> regarding "Amour Colère Folie- a temporary monument to resistance" may be found on their website <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-exclusive-interview-jean-ulrick-desert/">HERE</a> (the photos in that article are by <em>Hervé Beuze</em> for BIAC)
The format of this Bienniale seemed to be in three distinctive parts:
the commissioned public artworks (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uprising-Art-Caribbean-and-Contemporary-Art/308962322475400?fref=ts#!/media/set/?set=a.632459226792373.1073741834.308962322475400&type=3">Parcours in situ</a>) by artists in residence and labeled <em><strong>Parcours</strong></em> was selected by BIAC director<em> Johanna Auguiac-Célénice</em>.
the "<strong>Martinique Pavillion</strong>"(facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Uprising-Art-Caribbean-and-Contemporary-Art/308962322475400?fref=ts#!/media/set/?set=a.632501196788176.1073741835.308962322475400&type=3">photos here</a>) was curated by the artist/curator/publisher <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-exclusive-interview-holly-bynoe-martinique-pavilion/"><em>Holly Bynoe</em></a>.
the "<strong>International Pavillion</strong>" (facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Uprising-Art-Caribbean-and-Contemporary-Art/308962322475400?fref=ts#!/media/set/?set=a.632716783433284.1073741836.308962322475400&type=3">photos here</a>) was curated by curator/author Princeton University professor <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-interview-exclusive-tumelo-mosaka-curator/"><em>Tumelo Mosaka</em></a>.
Video: working with artists<em> Hervé Beuze</em> and <em>Patrick</em> at the Square. The central tri-color cube of corrugated-metal has yet to be placed at this point during this video.
Many thanks to artist <em>Jorge pineda</em> (D.R.) and to <em>Caryl Ivrisse</em> (of <em>Creative Renegades</em>) for their early set-up assistance at the square.
Uprising's original summary of BIAC may be found <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/annonce-de-la-1e-biac-biennale-internationale-dart-contemporain-de-la-martinique/">HERE</a>.
A number of very interesting figures and thinkers were involved with the BIAC such as
writer/author <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-interview-exclusive-patrick-chamoiseau-ecrivain/">Patrick Chamoiseau</a>,
Art-historian <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-exclusive-interview-edward-sullivan-art-historian/">Edward Sullivan</a>
and Historian <a href="http://blog.uprising-art.com/biac-martinique-2013-interview-exclusive-marianne-de-tolentino-histoire-art/">Marianne de Tolentino</a>.
My experience in Martinique merits now much much more understanding about this island and by extension the other territories of france in the Antilles. Every day I watch in the morning and/or the evening local television- one station in particular had rather provocative and progressive discussions. Here are some brief examples of some moderators whose conversations i followed (not always agreeing but intrigued by the conversations)
And then finally the topic of inhabitants of martinique called béké was rather surprising and yet i was not aware of any significant details that could bring it all together. All in all- a visit again to Martinique and Guadeloup and Guyane are most certainly in order in the future. Here is a réportage online regarding this small minority of citizens not often spoken about outside the french/francophone Caribbean world.