Dust Specks on the Sea – Contemporary Sculpture from the French Caribbean & Haiti
Hundreds of independent art and museums spaces were forced to close due to the Corona-Crisis. In this series we are celebrating the fantastic artistic events that are right now sitting behind closed doors. Challenging France’s history as a powerful colonizing force in the Caribbean, the New York exhibition Dust Specks on the Sea focuses on sculptural works by twenty-two artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, & Haiti.
Installation View of Dust Specks on the Sea at Hunter East Harlem Gallery, New York, 2020.
In 1964, French President Charles de Gaulle visited Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana on official state business. Flying over the Caribbean Sea, de Gaulle described the islands as “dust specks on the sea.” His quote evokes an otherworldly aerial view of the Caribbean archipelago, while also revealing a deep-seated hierarchical perspective of the region, stemming from France’s history as a powerful colonizing force in the Caribbean. Challenging this colonial perception, Dust Specks on the Seafocuses on sculptural works by twenty-two artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, & Haiti. It presents various approaches to subject matter, materials, and process that speak to contemporary practices by artists of this region, evincing their participation in a globalized art world and putting pressure on notions of who is at its “center” and who is on its “periphery.”