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DR. ERICA MOIAH JAMES: 19th C. Haitian Portraiture as Détournement in/of Colonial Art Histories

22.11.2022 | 18:00 c.t.

Die Veranstaltung findet im Rahmen des Forschungskolloquiums zur Kunst Afrikas statt.

Thematisch engagierte und interessierte Gäste sind herzlich willkommen!

When King Henry Christophe of Haiti invited the British artist Richard Evans to his country to establish an art academy in 1816, he demonstrated an awareness of the power and importance of representation in transatlantic discourses centered on black subjectivity in the wake of the Haitian Revolution. However, nineteenth century Haitian portraiture, including seminal works Christophe commissioned himself, have been summarily dismissed in art history as being anachronistic, without quality, merit, or possessing any intrinsic value for deep study. 

Drawing on Kamau Brathwaite’s concept of détournement within public scholarship, this talk challenges the epistemological foundations of western art history to reengage nineteenth century Haitian portraiture as material archive and fine art. In process, it works to decolonize the discipline ensuring that these works are seen as transformative expressions of a generative Caribbean modernism.

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22.11.2022 | 18:00 c.t.