07 March 2015 - 30 August 2015
Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne
Place de la Libération - 94400 Vitry-sur-Seine France
20 April 2015
The ITZA’ series (2004) is finaly on the website. The project was done in the context of a collaboration between the French CNRS and the University of Michigan. I was Invited by the scientist Scott Atran, Ximena Lois and Valentina Vapnarsky to go in the Petén, Guatemala, to produce a series of portraits of the last Maya Itza’ still speaking the traditional Itza’ language. At that time, only a few members of the community were still able to communicate in this language (which was the one of more than 3 millions mayas until the 17th century). The language, as everywhere, being one of the main tool to forward traditions and knowledges, stories, legends, agricultural customs and gestures… So the key was to perpetuate the ITZA’ language. This very narrative series took place in the book “ITZA’ ,Memorias mayas” published by the universidad nacional autonoma de Mexico. The book, written in 3 languages (ITZA’, Spanish and English) was produced in 2010 and is now used by the Bio Itza’ organization as a real tool and document which constitutes a part of the Maya memories.
10 April 2015
Back from Guyane. I’ve been very impressed by the BOBI, an authentic character of the Creole Carnival of Cayenne, South America. It’s the mythological evolution of a bear, coming straight from Europe, and its interpretation comes with a lot of fantasy. Indeed, the visual vocabulary of this elegant bobi is a mix of a bear , an elephant, or maybe a Dasypodidae (Armadillo). It’s anyway a similar figure as we can meet in Europe in our winter traditions. And in French Guiana, the symbol of the bobi may have another layer, coming from the colonial past of this French region of slavery. The BOBI, out of control, refuses the orders of his master and tries to escape. Originally, the Carnival was the exclusive right of the colonizers. Then, the slaves started their own clandestine masquerade. The BOBI is one of these funny figures which also has do to with the quest of freedom. And that’s a good point.