Please join us for the LACIS weekly lunchtime lecture series...
Tuesday, April 7
206 Ingraham Hall
Light refreshments will be served.
Please contact Sarah Ripp at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
#1 "The Autoethnographic Weave of Plantation Poker: The Merkin Stories by Joscelyn Gardner"
Presented by Nicole Fadellin, PhD Candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese
#2 "Objects and Memory: Looking at Martinican colonial history and identity through Jean-François Boclé's Art"
Presented by Jeanne Essame, Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department. She specializes in African Diaspora history, Caribbean history, and Visual Culture
This presentation will explore postcolonial autoethnography through a series of lithographs created by Canadian/Caribbean visual artist Joscelyn Gardner. Plantation Poker: The Merkin Stories critically engages with the Enlightenment ideals of progress and the pursuit of knowledge that legitimized colonial endeavors in the Anglophone Caribbean. Gardner subverts the rhetorical techniques of natural histories of the mid-eighteenth century as she weaves together dispassionate quotations from the diary of a Jamaican plantation manager, instruments of torture, and meticulous engravings suggestive of merkins, pubic wigs used by prostitutes in Europe at the time. Such a critique acquires new meaning in a 21st-century context of international art circuits, sex tourism, and spectacularly violent media. In this way, Plantation Poker not only denounces colonial atrocities but also makes disconcerting parallels with the present-day.
This presentation will discuss how Martinican artist Jean-François Boclé's use of collected objects enables him to perform the history of Martinique, engaging with the memory of the enslavement, exploitation, and misrepresentations. "Boat," an installation whose primary medium are used cardboard boxes, revisits the multilayered visualities of the boat motif that has been explored over and over again in black diaspora visual art. In this powerful piece that refers to multilateral journeys not only to and from the old world but also in between diasporic spaces, Boclé forces the viewer to rethink consumerism and interrogate the presence and absence of the human factor both as consumer and commodity. Other pieces, such as "The Tears of Bananaman," "Tu me copieras," "Consommons Racial!," also explore the tensions between colony and metropole. All in all, Boclé's work brings awareness to the issues stemming from the colonial system that still affect Martinique today.