Kafou – Haiti, Art And Vodou


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Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou traces the extraordinary history of Haiti’s popular art over seven decades, from pioneers like Hector Hyppolite, Philomé Obin, Wilson Bigaud and Georges Liautaud, promoted in the 1940s and 50s by André Breton and the Surrealists, to exciting contemporary figures like Myrlande Constant, Edouard Duval- Carrié, Frantz Zéphirin and the Atis Rezistans group. Its focus is the abiding significance of Vodou (or voodoo ) in the art of Haiti’s urban and rural poor. Haitian Vodou has been a constant source of inspiration and imagery for Haiti’s popular art, and that art is often at its most visionary and inventive when reflecting its influence. Furthermore, Vodou, which is practiced in some shape or form by most Haitians, is key to understanding Haiti’s culture and history. The book documents a major exhibition presented at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012 curated by Alex Farquharson and Leah Gordon. Kafou means crossroads in Haitian Creole, a key concept in Vodou. Haiti is located at the crossroads of Atlantic experience the world changed after its unthinkable Revolution of 1791 1803. Vodou reflects that history in mythical terms. This in turn is reflected in Haiti’s extraordinary popular art, which has its own place at the cultural crossroads of the Atlantic. Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the work of thirty-five significant Haitian artists. These images are accompanied by an anthology of new and republished texts by wide-ranging authors including Dawn Ades, Truman Capote, Maya Deren, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Alejo Carpentier, Laurent Dubois, Edouard Glissant, Dany Laferrière, Jørgen Leth, Kobena Mercer, Marcus Rediker and Ian Thomson. The front section consists of new essays by Colin (aka Joan) Dayan, Wendy Asquith, Katherine Smith, Gordon and Farquharson.