Animals

January 18, 2011

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NYC Halloween parade 2010

November 09, 2010

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Didier Civil – Depuy Canal House Haiti benefit

October 22, 2010

Haiti_Benefit.pdf

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Workshop Description

June 14, 2010

Papier Mache Workshops

No children under 10 years old

Materials:

Clay

Cardboard

Paper as used on paper bags

Flour/water

Contact cement

Acrylic Paint and brushes
Orange, black, white; blue; green; yellow; red

Sponges for painting

Varnish

TOOLS:

Heavy duty scissors to cut cardboard

Sculpting knife

Cutter – to cut the mold to remove the clay

Day 1 – How to make the clay mold – depending upon age and interest of students and size of mold  – from two ours to five hours
Let it set – one day

Day 2 – Apply the paper and the cardboard – two to five hours depending upon size of mold

Let it dry for one or two days

Process can be speeded up with electric hair dryer

Day 3 –Remove  papier mache from mold – Glue sections together – Let it Dry – 30 minutes to two hours

Day 4 –  – 3o minutes to two hours

Fine cutting of form

Line inside of mask with paper

Let it Dry

Day 5 – Paint and varnish
One hour to several hours depending complexity and size

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Vision Statement

Art School of Jacmel
Didier Civil:  Founder/Director

I am working to be able to create a school in Jacmel to teach traditional crafts as a way of providing a trade and skills that will help people to generate an income as  artisans producing objects directed at the tourist industry and the interest in traditional crafts worldwide.

ENARTS (Ecole Nationale des Arts) is in Port-au-Prince . Matriculation requires graduation from high school, exams and one must pay tuition. These qualifications make it impossible for the general population to participate.

The school will create different types of opportunities.

Some students with exceptional talent will go on to create unique pieces.

Others will work more as artisans in mass production of series and might even work on large commissions.

There will be a store at the school.

We will bring in guest teachers from Port-au-Prince and other Haitian cities and as well inviter artists from abroad to spend time at the school in Jacmel to teach . They will stay with a Haitian family , eat their meals in the community and see all the wondrous sites of Haiti.

I will concentrate on papier mache technique to explore the full range of sculptural possibilities from the folkloric image to abstraction;

Basics of  Painting and drawing

Ceramics – from the folkloric to the abstract

Scupture – wood; papier mache; clay; metal;

2004 – 2007 –  I was one of the Founders of the Centre de Formation Artistique de Jacmel (CFAJ) This Center was supported by KONPAY (Konbit Pou Ayiti), an organization based in the US that donated money and supplies so that CFAJ could pay teachers, and provide scholarships for the community. CFAJ is no longer active.

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Budget (example text)

1- Objectif
L’objectif de cette étude, c’est de préparer la fiche technique.
a) Elaborer un plan.
b) Préparer une estimation
L’estimation pour qu’on puisse savoir le cout total du projet.
– En matériaux.
– En main d’oeuvre.
2- Termes de référence
1- Sommaire des travaux
Le projet consiste en :
Tout en assurant des différentes zones, ces dernières sont reliées
par des espaces de circulation qui distribuent harmonieusement les salles
entre elles. La ventilation est étudiée de manières à assurer le maximum
d’aération.
1. Un espace de 22’2 pour les matières brutes.
2. Un espace de 17’2 pour les pièces fini.
3. Un atelier de travail 14’2 et une petite bibliothèque à l’intérieur.
4. Une galerie de 17’2 et un secrétariat de 5’2.
5. Une résidence de 32’2.
6. Un atelier de producteur 60’2.
7. Une guérite de 19’2.
8. Environs 6 parking.
9. Une clôture de 46’ linéaire.
Le tout serait couvert en charpente de bois, de tôles et du latanier.
Cadre du Devis Estimatif
Tableau du Devis Estimatif
Matériaux + main d’oeuvre
1.00. Résidence
#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total
Travaux généraux Gourdes
A1 15 ft Implantation 33.3 2,500
A2 15 ft Fouille et déblais 33.3 2,500
A3 2 ft3 Fonçage 100 1,000
Béton et Maçonnerie
A4 15 ft3 Maçonnerie de moellons 1,460 109,500
A5 1738 lv Ferraillage semelles, colonnes, socle 7,380 64,140
A6 2 ft3 Chainage sur maçonnerie 3,000 30,000
A7 23 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 202 23,250
A8 5 ft3 Béton parquet 4,000 100,000
A9 55 ft2 Maçonnerie de moellons 15x20x40 295 81,250
A10 2 ft3 Poutre supérieure 3,000 30,000
A11 FF Toiture 125,000
Travaux Finition
A12 150 ft2 Crépissage et enduisage de murs 280 210,000
A13 36 ft2 Revêtement Toles 994 89,000
A14 2 Portes intérieur et extérieure 1,500 15,000
A15 5 Fenêtres en vitres 1,560 39,000
A16 105 ft2 Peinture 40 21,000
A17 FF Installation Electrique 5,000 25,000
A18 FF Installation sanitaire 2,500 12,500
Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 980,640.°°
$.US 24,516°°
2.00 Atelier de production
#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total
Travaux généraux Gourdes
A1 60 ft Implantation 9 2,500
A2 26 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 4,341 56,500
A3 6 ft3 Béton parquet 2,480 74,415
A4 60 ft2 cirage 16.6 5,000
A6 FF Toiture en paille 30,000
Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 168,415.°°
$US 4,200.38
3.00 Guérite
#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total
Travaux généraux Gourdes
A1 10 ft Implantation 50 2,500
A2 10 ft Fouille 50 2,500
A3 1500 lv Ferraillage, colonne, semelle, socle 7,380 55,350
A4 34 ft2 Pose bloc et coulage colonne 295 50,150
A5 68 ft2 Crépissage et Enduisage 280 95,200
A6 FF Installation électrique 5,000
A7 FF Installation sanitaire 5,000
A8 68 ft2 peinture 40 13,600
A9 FF Toiture 25,000
Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 250,000.°°
$US 6,250.°°
4.00 Clôture
#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total
Travaux généraux Gourdes
A1 41 ft Implantation 333 6,825
A2 41 ft Fouille 333 6,825
A3 7000 lv Ferraillage colonne 4,378 153,250
A4 20 ft3 Maçonnerie de roche 2,203 220,310
A5 600 lv Chainage inferieur et supérieur 2 6,000
A6 2 ft3 Béton chaînage 500 5,000
A7 114 ft2 Pose blocs : 15x20x40 327 186,365
A8 2 ft3 Coulage colonne 1,500 15,000
A9 1 Barriere 100,000
Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 699,575.°°
$US 17,489.38
5.00 Atelier
#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total
Travaux généraux Gourdes
A1 30 ft Implantation 333 49,950
A2 30 ft Fouille et déblais 50 7,500
A3 6 ft3 Fonçage et libaille 1,833 55,000
Béton et maçonnerie
A4 24 ft3 Maçonnerie de moellons 1,464 175,750
A5 15000 lv Ferraillage semelles, colonnes, socles 7,095 532,150
A6 146 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 224 163,750
A7 20 ft3 Béton parquet 2,746 274,600
A8 78 ft2 Pose blocs 15x20x40 380 148,400
A9 80 ft2 Toiture en toles 353 141,400
Travaux Finition
A10 312 ft2 Crépissage et Enduisage murs 156 242,950
5 ft2 Revêtement toles 1,000 25,000
3 Portes intérieur et extérieur 1,500 22,500
9 Fenêtres en vitre et forgés 1,500 67,500
156 ft2 Peinture 42 33,100
FF Installation Electrique 15,000
Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 1,954,550.°°
$US 48,863.75.°°
– Le montant pour chaque structure
a) 11 centièmes de carreau de terre à $US.2500____$US.27,500.00
b) Honoraire d’arpentage_______________________$US. 500.00
c) Honoraire Notaire__________________________ $US. 1000.00
d) Résidence________________________________ $US. 24,516.00
e) Atelier de production_______________________ $US 4,200.38
f) Guérite__________________________________ $US 6,250.00
g) Clôture__________________________________ $US 17,489.38
h) Atelier___________________________________ $US 48,863.75
– Montant Total $US 130,319.51
– Etudes (Plan + Devis Estmatif) $US 1,000.00
– Honoraire + Supervision 8% $US 10,505.00
– Imprévus 10% $US 20,637.51
– Total General $US 162,462.02
Pour réaliser ce projet le cout des matériaux et mains d’oeuvres
environs $US 162,462.02, (Cent soixante deux mille quatre cent soixante deux,
deux centimes) dollars Américains, vont être utilises.
– Surface à construire : 7,645.44 square feet
– Terrain : 118 ft x 131.15 ft = 15,475.7 sq. ft  11/100 et 17/1000 d’1 carreau
Préparé par : _________________________
Junior Prevot, Ing

1- Objectif

L’objectif de cette étude, c’est de préparer la fiche technique.

a) Elaborer un plan.

b) Préparer une estimation

L’estimation pour qu’on puisse savoir le cout total du projet.

– En matériaux.

– En main d’oeuvre.

2- Termes de référence

1- Sommaire des travaux

Le projet consiste en :

Tout en assurant des différentes zones, ces dernières sont reliées

par des espaces de circulation qui distribuent harmonieusement les salles

entre elles. La ventilation est étudiée de manières à assurer le maximum

d’aération.

1. Un espace de 22’2 pour les matières brutes.

2. Un espace de 17’2 pour les pièces fini.

3. Un atelier de travail 14’2 et une petite bibliothèque à l’intérieur.

4. Une galerie de 17’2 et un secrétariat de 5’2.

5. Une résidence de 32’2.

6. Un atelier de producteur 60’2.

7. Une guérite de 19’2.

8. Environs 6 parking.

9. Une clôture de 46’ linéaire.

Le tout serait couvert en charpente de bois, de tôles et du latanier.

Cadre du Devis Estimatif

Tableau du Devis Estimatif

Matériaux + main d’oeuvre

1.00. Résidence

#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total

Travaux généraux Gourdes

A1 15 ft Implantation 33.3 2,500

A2 15 ft Fouille et déblais 33.3 2,500

A3 2 ft3 Fonçage 100 1,000

Béton et Maçonnerie

A4 15 ft3 Maçonnerie de moellons 1,460 109,500

A5 1738 lv Ferraillage semelles, colonnes, socle 7,380 64,140

A6 2 ft3 Chainage sur maçonnerie 3,000 30,000

A7 23 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 202 23,250

A8 5 ft3 Béton parquet 4,000 100,000

A9 55 ft2 Maçonnerie de moellons 15x20x40 295 81,250

A10 2 ft3 Poutre supérieure 3,000 30,000

A11 FF Toiture 125,000

Travaux Finition

A12 150 ft2 Crépissage et enduisage de murs 280 210,000

A13 36 ft2 Revêtement Toles 994 89,000

A14 2 Portes intérieur et extérieure 1,500 15,000

A15 5 Fenêtres en vitres 1,560 39,000

A16 105 ft2 Peinture 40 21,000

A17 FF Installation Electrique 5,000 25,000

A18 FF Installation sanitaire 2,500 12,500

Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 980,640.°°

$.US 24,516°°

2.00 Atelier de production

#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total

Travaux généraux Gourdes

A1 60 ft Implantation 9 2,500

A2 26 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 4,341 56,500

A3 6 ft3 Béton parquet 2,480 74,415

A4 60 ft2 cirage 16.6 5,000

A6 FF Toiture en paille 30,000

Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 168,415.°°

$US 4,200.38

3.00 Guérite

#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total

Travaux généraux Gourdes

A1 10 ft Implantation 50 2,500

A2 10 ft Fouille 50 2,500

A3 1500 lv Ferraillage, colonne, semelle, socle 7,380 55,350

A4 34 ft2 Pose bloc et coulage colonne 295 50,150

A5 68 ft2 Crépissage et Enduisage 280 95,200

A6 FF Installation électrique 5,000

A7 FF Installation sanitaire 5,000

A8 68 ft2 peinture 40 13,600

A9 FF Toiture 25,000

Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 250,000.°°

$US 6,250.°°

4.00 Clôture

#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total

Travaux généraux Gourdes

A1 41 ft Implantation 333 6,825

A2 41 ft Fouille 333 6,825

A3 7000 lv Ferraillage colonne 4,378 153,250

A4 20 ft3 Maçonnerie de roche 2,203 220,310

A5 600 lv Chainage inferieur et supérieur 2 6,000

A6 2 ft3 Béton chaînage 500 5,000

A7 114 ft2 Pose blocs : 15x20x40 327 186,365

A8 2 ft3 Coulage colonne 1,500 15,000

A9 1 Barriere 100,000

Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 699,575.°°

$US 17,489.38

5.00 Atelier

#.Item Qte Unité Description de l’ouvrage Prix Unit Prix Total

Travaux généraux Gourdes

A1 30 ft Implantation 333 49,950

A2 30 ft Fouille et déblais 50 7,500

A3 6 ft3 Fonçage et libaille 1,833 55,000

Béton et maçonnerie

A4 24 ft3 Maçonnerie de moellons 1,464 175,750

A5 15000 lv Ferraillage semelles, colonnes, socles 7,095 532,150

A6 146 ft3 Remblayage et compactage 224 163,750

A7 20 ft3 Béton parquet 2,746 274,600

A8 78 ft2 Pose blocs 15x20x40 380 148,400

A9 80 ft2 Toiture en toles 353 141,400

Travaux Finition

A10 312 ft2 Crépissage et Enduisage murs 156 242,950

5 ft2 Revêtement toles 1,000 25,000

3 Portes intérieur et extérieur 1,500 22,500

9 Fenêtres en vitre et forgés 1,500 67,500

156 ft2 Peinture 42 33,100

FF Installation Electrique 15,000

Total M.O et Matériaux HTG 1,954,550.°°

$US 48,863.75.°°

– Le montant pour chaque structure

a) 11 centièmes de carreau de terre à $US.2500____$US.27,500.00

b) Honoraire d’arpentage_______________________$US. 500.00

c) Honoraire Notaire__________________________ $US. 1000.00

d) Résidence________________________________ $US. 24,516.00

e) Atelier de production_______________________ $US 4,200.38

f) Guérite__________________________________ $US 6,250.00

g) Clôture__________________________________ $US 17,489.38

h) Atelier___________________________________ $US 48,863.75

– Montant Total $US 130,319.51

– Etudes (Plan + Devis Estmatif) $US 1,000.00

– Honoraire + Supervision 8% $US 10,505.00

– Imprévus 10% $US 20,637.51

– Total General $US 162,462.02

Pour réaliser ce projet le cout des matériaux et mains d’oeuvres

environs $US 162,462.02, (Cent soixante deux mille quatre cent soixante deux,

deux centimes) dollars Américains, vont être utilises.

– Surface à construire : 7,645.44 square feet

– Terrain : 118 ft x 131.15 ft = 15,475.7 sq. ft  11/100 et 17/1000 d’1 carreau

Préparé par : _________________________

Junior Prevot, Ing

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Artistic Bio/Resume

June 13, 2010

1973 Born 20 February  in Jacmel, Haiti

1994 – Hotel La Jacmelienne where I first met Jonathan Demme who bought several of my painting. Featured in his book ISLAND ON FIRE with a foreward by Edwidge Danticat

Exhibitions of papier mache sculptures

Director/Founder of the mascarade group LA PAIX en 1990 a 1998

2000-2004 Founding member and Artistic Director of KAY (kominote Atis Yo)

2004 -2007 – Director of CFAJ  – Jacmel Center for Training in the Arts

Awards and Recognition:

2000 *1st Prize for the  Carnival  Theme:  Famous people of the 20th Century

2007*1st Place for the Lionel Simonis Prize Vampire

2007 *1st Place – Minister of Culture of Jacmel
the same mask won two awards

Commissions:

2007 – Musée d’ethnographie de Genève , Switzerland Exhibition: Le vodou, un art de vivre
from December 5th 2007 to August 31,  2008  – Opened in Geneva and has traveled throughout Europe. Didier was commissioned to create  a representation of the ceremony of Bois-Caiman, which in 1791 launched the slave revolt in the island of Santo Domingo – BOUMAN & FATIMA – larger than life figures.

2009 – Werewolf – commissioned by La Paix de Jacmel to create this figure for them

2010 – NYC Halloween Parade – Masks and Costumes

Workshops:

2007 – Workshop papier mache  –  BROOKWOOD SCHOOL in GLOUSCESTER, Mass
http://www.artdaily.com/indexv5.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=19852

2007 – Conference on Haiti at MONSSERAT COLLEGE,  Boston, Mass

2007 – SANTA FE,  New MEXICO at the  FOLK ART MARKET

2010 Weslyan University, Middletown. CT – November 1-6

2010 Brown University, Providence, RI – November 8-10

Lectures:

2007 – The Papier Mache Tradition of Jacmel  Monsserat College, Boston

Exhibitions:

1990 – Group exhibition of paintings at LFAGO in Jacmel

1994 April – May  Chamber of Commerce, Port-au-Prince

1995  1994 – First One-Man Exhibition in Jacmel

1996  Three murals
.
1997 – February : Exhibition organized by the Alliance of Jacmel on the occasion of Carnival.

1997 – May:  Exhibition organized by the Alliance of Jacmel and the Cultural Center  – in the public library of Jacmel

2002 – November – Invitational by the University of Notre Dame Haiti, organized by l’UNDH(universite Notre dame d’Haiti)

2003- 2004  FOSAJ (Fondation Sant d’Art jacmel)
May  exhibiiton at the Hotel Florita of jacmel  Vodou Riche,Chicago

2006 et 2007  – Two installations at CFAJ dedicated to two deceased artists from Jacmel – Jean Rony David and Lionel Simonis, two pioneers in the art of paper mache.

2007 – Novembre  Exhibition at Seattle Central Community College, Seattle WA.

2008  JAC-MEL-ANGE  – Organized by The Alliance Francais in Jacmel.

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Art School Plans

June 12, 2010

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Personal Statement

June 10, 2010

My name is Didier Civil. I was born in Haiti, in a town called Jacmel. It is there that I grew up and received a classical education.

Jacmel is a small town located in the southeast of Haiti. It is a beautiful little town where many foreigners come to enjoy its hospitality. The town is known as the Culture and Art Capital of Haiti and has even been declared Carnival City of Haiti.

I work as an artist and more specifically in the domain of paper mache.. I was ten years old when I started discovering my interest and ability to make art. At that time I would reproduce the drawings I found in every book I could lay my hands on. I must say that I had the good fortune to grow up in a neighborhood where masks were made. This neighborhood was located below the hospital and was at the time called Beauvais Street and Sainte Anne Street, an area which now constitutes the artisanal district in Jacmel.

I was also lucky enough to see Lyonel Simonis at work. He was among the very first people in Haiti to make paper mache masks. That is how I first began to try to make masks. Little by little I came to realize that I too could create them.

Between 1989 and 1990, I founded a masquerade group called La Paix (Peace). That group is still active today and participates annually in carnival. Working for the group gave me an opportunity to practice making many masks, which is how I managed to perfect and hone my skill. I’m always very proud whenever I see one of the masks I’ve created win a prize at Carnival, in a masquerade ball or in an exhibition. I also gain a lot of satisfaction from seeing people that I’ve trained at mask-making start their own masquerade group and win their own prizes. This proves to me that knowledge can and has been transmitted.

I used to have a training center that I started with some other people in the hopes of sharing our knowledge with young people who would want to learn from us.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to re-open an art school in Jacmel that will allow us to share our skills and foster cultural exchanges with artists from other countries.

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Workshops

June 05, 2010

2011 –The Arts Council of Princeton and the Lewis Center for the Arts Present Visiting Haitian Artist Didier Civil

2010

2010 – Brown University Gallery exhibit

2010 – Wesleyan University Workshop

2010 – A conversation with Didier Civil – Wesleyan University

2007 – Workshop papier mache – BROOKWOOD SCHOOL in GLOUSCESTER, Mass

2007 – Conference on Haiti at MONSSERAT COLLEGE, Boston, Mass

2007 – SANTA FE, New MEXICO at the FOLK ART MARKET

Wesleyan’s Outside the Box Theater Series Presents A Workshop with Didier Civil
Co-Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Theater Department
Sign Up for a Workshop With Master Artist and Mask-Maker from Haiti
Didier Civil is an artist from Jacmel, Haiti whose subjects range from the fantastical to masks and costumes for Carnival and animals of all kinds.
He also creates one-of-a-kind portraits, as well as figures from his series of historical and cultural personalities from Haiti. Some of his figures are larger-than-life — all lyrical, unique, and imaginative work in paper maché.
When: Tuesday–Friday, November 2-5, 4:30–6:30pm, Multi-Purpose Room, Usdan Campus Center (Participants must attend all 4 sessions of the workshop).
About Workshop
An opportunity to attend a free workshop with the award-winning artist to learn the traditional and ecological technique of paper maché. Materials will be supplied and, at the end of the workshop, participants will have created their own unique mask to take home.  Reservations are required as there are a limited number of spaces.
Artist Website: http://didiercivilartsjacmel.com/
Admission is free
For more information and workshop reservations: Visit the Box Office at the Usdan Center or Call 860-685-3355
Also, we invite you to join us for a Conversation with Didier Civil on Tuesday, November 2nd at 8pm in the CFA Hall. Admission is free.


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Commissions

2007 – Musée d’ethnographie de Genève , Switzerland Exhibition: Le vodou, un art de vivre
from December 5th 2007 to August 31, 2008 – Opened in Geneva and has traveled throughout Europe. Didier was commissioned to create a representation of the ceremony of Bois-Caiman, which in 1791 launched the slave revolt in the island of Santo Domingo – BOUMAN & FATIMA – larger than life figures.

2009 – Werewolf – commissioned by La Paix de Jacmel to create this figure for them

2010 – Portrait of musician Roswell Rudd

PRICES PROVIDED UPON REQUEST

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Awards

2000 *1st Prize for the Carnival Theme: Famous people of the 20th Century – Jacmel, Haiti

2007*1st Place for the Lionel Simonis Prize Vampire Jacmel, Haiti

2007 *1st Place – Minister of Culture of Jacmel
the same mask won two awards

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Articles

June 04, 2010

Downbeat

Best face forward – Woodstock Times

Didier Civil at Montserrat College of Art – ArtDaily.org

Oh, that Vodou that you do(u); Mask guru gets in Village spirit – The Villager

Reviving Haitian Revelry in Greenwich Village – New York Times

Didier Civil preps for NYC Halloween parade – Almanac Weekly

Puppet Master – NY Post

Haitian Times

Halloween, Haitian Style – Wall Street Journal

The Face of the Spirit – Shawankgunk Journal

Out of Ruin, Haiti’s Visionaries – New York Times

Dancing in Haiti: come for the beaches, the culture and art – National Catholic Reporter

Article by Arnaud Robert (French)

Article by Arnaud Robert

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Reviews

xxxxx

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Latest News

Downbeat

Beyond the Wall

Lecture: Carnival in Jacmel – March 2, 1011 – University of British Columbia

New York Times listing

***********************************************************

Sept 25 – October 31

Halloween Day Parade  NYC –  Artist-in-Residence Commisson to create masks and costumes for the Parade

In residence on the Rokeby Estate in Rhinebeck, NY

http://www.halloween-nyc.com/

*******************************************************************************************************************

November 1 – 7

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Workshops in mask making and lectures

Wesleyan University Workshop

A conversation with Didier Civil

*******************************************************************************************************************

November 8 – 10

Brown University, Providence, RI

*******************************************************************************************************************

Nov 11 – 14

Haitian Studies Association Annual Meeting


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Portraits

June 01, 2010

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Series

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One-of-a-kind

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Masks / Costumes

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Workshop photos

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Didier Photos

May 31, 2010

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Out of Ruin, Haiti’s Visionaries

By HOLLAND COTTER
New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/arts/artsspecial/18HAITI.html

Published: March 13, 2010

In a disaster, you focus on lives first, all else later. When the earthquake hit Haiti in January, the news was about the dead and missing, miraculous survivals, towns smashed to bits.

SOUL SURVIVOR The voodoo priest Akiki Baka, a k a Emperor Sonson, at his Gede temple near the Grand Rue, in Port-au-Prince. The temple, which weathered Haiti’s earthquake unscathed, will have an altar in a planned exhibition.

Behind this news came other news. One of Haiti’s proudest cultural monuments, the Episcopal cathedral of the Holy Trinity in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, had collapsed, destroying murals painted in the late 1940s by some of the great artists of what is often called the Haitian Renaissance: Philomé Obin, Castera Basile, Rigaud Benoit, Wilson Bigaud, Prefete Duffaut. Their images of verdant, fruit-colored tropical heavens had helped turn a politically volatile nation into a tourist destination, and art itself into an export industry.

The Centre d’Art, where these artists once met with André Breton, Aimé Césaire and Wifredo Lam, was seriously damaged, as was the Musée d’Art Haitien. Catastrophically, many of the 12,000 Haitian works, accumulated over half a century, in the Musée/Galerie d’art Nader were lost when the building that housed them, a family home, disintegrated.

Objects retrieved from the Centre d’Art and the Musée d’Art Haitien have been locked in containers. Nearly everything recovered will need conservation.

Far more difficult to assess is the survival of art produced outside the fragile museum and gallery network, though some of this work has relatively high visibility through commercial connections with the United States and Europe. A funky downtown section of Port-au-Prince called the Grand Rue was the scene, in December, of a first-time art event called the “Ghetto Biennial.” Based on international models but operating on a tiny budget, it brought in a few artists from abroad but was basically a showcase for a collective of Haitian sculptors who call themselves Atis Rezistans. The group’s three senior members — André Eugène, Jean Hérard Celeur and Frantz Jacques, known as Guyodo — work together in the Grand Rue, in a warren of cinderblock car-repair shops that supply the material for their art: rusted chassis, steering wheels, hubcaps, broken crankshafts, cast-off oil filters. With the help of young assistants, they turn this industrial junk into demonic doomsday figures with giant phalluses and gargoylish bodies topped by plastic doll heads or human skulls.

These artists, all around 40 years old, belong to a generation that is internationally attuned — they have a higher profile abroad than at home — and has experienced life in Haiti at its most abject, which is saying something, given the nation’s scarifying modern history.

Their art comes across as a hellish response to the older painters of tropical idylls, though in reality all of these artists share a common bond. To a greater or lesser extent, and in different ways, much of their work is based on the Afro-Caribbean religion of voodoo — or vodou, as many scholars prefer to spell it — Haiti’s majority religion and continuing source of social and cultural cohesion.

Where Centre d’Art painters like Andre Pierre (circa 1915-2005) and Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948), who were both voodoo priests, emphasized the religion’s more benign aspects with images of regal deities in bosky settings, the Atis Rezistans group tunnels into its dark, dystopian, underground side. Many of their sculptures depict the ghoulish spirits called Gedes and their paternal leader, Baron Samedi, the lord of death, decay and grotesque eroticism.

When the quake struck, much of the Grand Rue was flattened, and unknown numbers of Atis Rezistans sculptures are likely to have been crushed and buried. An exception was a single colossal metal figure of Baron Samedi, which stayed intact and erect as if surveying the havoc he had wrought.

But the greater unknown is the fate of voodoo religious art. Anyone who saw the traveling exhibition “Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou,” organized by the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1995, knows how visually potent this art can be.

Voodoo has ancient roots in West Africa, where at some point it met up with European Christianity and, later, in the Caribbean, through the Atlantic slave trade, with indigenous New World religions. The result was a baffling, exhilarating, multifarious sacred art, which takes a visually explosive form in assemblage-style altars.

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These are dedicated to specific voodoo deities, often embodied in a printed picture or statuette of a Christian saint, around which is distributed a purposefully crowded array of devotional objects and substances including dolls, Buddhas, Roman Catholic holy cards, playing cards, political portraits, satin-swathed bottles, perfume atomizers, rosaries, carved phalluses, Masonic diagrams, candles, kerchiefs, money, mirrors, fruit, rum, flowers and human and animal skulls.

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Leah Gordon

STARK PARTS “Chef Seksyon” (2000), by Mr. Eugène, of the Haiti sculptor collective Atis Rezistans, evokes the Gede, ghoulish spirits.

The largest altars are often in voodoo temples, which can be rooms in homes or shedlike congregational spaces that are decorated with wall paintings and sequined ritual flags called drapo.

Wherever it is, the altar is a total, balanced work of religious art, a model of good ritual housekeeping. At the same time, it is unfixed: kinetic and ephemeral, meant to be added to and removed from, to be tasted, touched, lighted, adorned, fanned and fed.

It is a form utterly unsuited to conventional museum display, though the Fowler show incorporated several altars, some of them recreations of ones that already existed in Port-au-Prince. At the Fowler itself, and then in museums, as the show traveled to Miami, Washington, Chicago, New Orleans and New York, the altars invariably attracted voodoo devotees who left offerings of money and food. Clearly they saw no distinction between sacred art and museum art. Or, put another way, for them the presence of sacred art made the museum a sacred space.

By some estimates, Haiti has tens of thousands of voodoo temples, the bulk concentrated in cities, and most all but invisible. Tucked away in alleys and basements, or behind garage doors, they rarely announce themselves. This makes any attempt to survey them and the art they hold difficult under any circumstances, but particularly now, when the very topography of cities like Port-au-Prince and Jacmel to the south, renowned for its production of Carnival masks, has been altered. At least one of the Port-au-Prince temples replicated in “Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou” is known to have been destroyed in the quake.

But word has come that a celebrated maker of sequined flags, Myrlande Constant, after camping with her family in a tent city in Port-au-Prince for more than a month, is back at work in a borrowed studio. The mask-maker and painter Civil Didier, left homeless in Jacmel, is in New York, as part of a new, possibly temporary diaspora of Haitian artists that the quake has created.

Meanwhile, long before January, the Fowler had already begun work on a sequel to its 1995 Vodou show, organized, as the first one was, by Donald J. Cosentino, a professor of African and diaspora literature and folklore at U.C.L.A., partnering with the art historian and anthropologist Marilyn Houlberg of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Circumstances in Haiti have greatly changed in the two decades since the earlier exhibition was conceived. In 1991, when research was beginning, Jean-Bertram Aristide was president; the country was giddy with hope for the future. The hope couldn’t last. Mr. Aristide was forced into exile, returned and left again, under a cloud. The country has since endured extreme levels of poverty and violence. The tropical Elysium of older Haitian art has never looked more out of place.

This is the reality that Mr. Cosentino has set out to address in the new exhibition, initially titled “Haiti in Extremis.” And voodoo gives him apt images to work with, from the cult of the Gedes and Baron Samedi, guardians of the dead, who could, through cataclysmic fusions of eroticism and destruction, generate a recuperative vitality.

The Atis Rezistans collective was on the preliminary list of artists to be in the new show, which is scheduled to debut in 2012, as were contemporary painters and sculptors like Edouard Duval-Carrié, Frantz Zephirin and Mr. Didier Civil, all of whom gave their voodoo sources a deeply fatalistic spin.

Then came the earthquake. And even before Mr. Zephirin’s painting of a skeletal Baron Samedi had appeared on the cover of The New Yorker, Mr. Cosentino was rethinking the show. He expanded its title: “Haiti in Extremis: After the Apocalypse.”

News came from Port-au-Prince that a particularly vibrant Gede temple overseen by the voodoo priest Akiki Baka, called Emperor Sonson, and situated near the Grand Rue, at the very epicenter of the quake, had survived unscathed. An altar from the temple would be in the new show.

So would art being created in direct response to the disaster. In other words, this would be a project whose shape and contents are, like life in Haiti, in the making and unpredictable. And it’s still two years away, which could be, depending on how the Gedes play their hand, never or forever.

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Dancing in Haiti: come for the beaches, the culture and art

National Catholic Reporter
July 20, 2007 by Eileen Markey

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_32_43/ai_n27325658/

Few Americans visit Haiti. Those who do come to document human rights abuses or volunteer in health clinics or bring donations to a partner parish. They are motivated by sympathy, or solidarity or outrage at the fate of Haiti’s people. But Didier Civil, who helped found the Centre de Formation Artistique de Jacmel, the cooperative my group visited, wants to rewrite that exchange. He’s proud of his country: proud of the blue-green Caribbean sea, proud of the formidable mountains, proud of the joyous music and most proud of the vibrant art. Don’t come to Haiti to deplore the poverty, come to Haiti to enjoy the cultural wealth, he said at a gallery showing of his work in Gloucester, Mass., in April.

“Haiti is known as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and with the most violence and also known for the most corruption, but through all that stigma you have to understand that it is the first independent black nation and that it helped Venezuela, Peru, Jamaica and Bolivia achieve their independence. And we are also a nation that has potential to be extremely rich artistically,” he said. He detailed the influence that Haitian musical styles and visual art, particularly papier-mache, have had throughout the Caribbean. “Therefore we can say the outside world is incorrect. Haiti has fantastic richness, richness of art to share.”

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Didier Civil at Montserrat College of Art – ArtDaily.org

Didier CivilBEVERLY, MA.-Didier Civil, painter, and paper-mâché artisan and founder and director of the Centre Formation Artistique de Jacmel (CFAJ), an art collective in Haiti, will give an interactive demonstration of traditional Haitian paper-mâché techniques (used in Haitian Carnival) at Montserrat on Saturday, April 21, 10:30- 12:00 in room 202.

He will also give a public talk on Tuesday April, 24th at 11:30 in room 201 about Haitian art and carnival history, Gede (Day of the Dead), techniques and symbols in Haitian painting and carnival artistry, especially papier-mâché. Both events will be free of charge; the Saturday event is especially good as an activity for families and kids.

Civil learned about paper Mache by studying Lyonel Simonis, a master and pioneer of papier-mâché mask-making.

“He was the first to make masks representing the indigenous inhabitants of Haiti,” Civil says. Being an artisan allows me to show this art form —and its place in mask-making history — to the world.

Civil, who, incidentally, is the most compiled artist in film director Jonathan Demme’s collection, creates colorful Carnival masks and paintings depicting the personalities of Vodou and scenes of life in Haiti.

“Vodou is part of my culture, and painting it is a way to show the world what it means, and the value it holds,” he says. “I paint street kids because I care about children and I am affected by watching how they survive on the street. I paint them to expose their situation to the world and to encourage people to think about their own lives.”

Jacmel, the arts hub of Haiti, and the capital of its Carnival festivities, is famous for its art galleries, often called “cooperatives”. Unfortunately, Civil says, these cooperatives are generally owned by businessmen, not artists or groups of artists. The owners take up to 75% on commission sales and artists are not invited to participate in any decision making. Civil saw a decline in the number of artists who could persevere in their work under these conditions, and fought to maintain studio and gallery space for struggling artists.

Civil’s international connections have helped him as he builds this collective, which now has six full time members. They are dedicated to supporting the artist as an individual, providing teaching opportunities to member artists and learning opportunities to the public, mentoring destitute children, and boosting the local arts economy. CFAJ presents thought-provoking events to the public throughout the year, and specializes in high theatre productions for carnival. They also host an annual International Artist Retreat during carnival.

“I have spent a long time teaching my trade to young adults and kids, and some of them are now [making art] to provide for their families,” Civil says. “This is the reason I founded CFAJ – to keep the ripple effects of mentorship and teaching reaching into the future. Haiti is an underdeveloped country and we need help from other nations so we can advance. In that sense, we feel that anyone who wants to support CFAJ or one of our members, monetarily or otherwise, is helping not only CFAJ, but the town of Jacmel and the country. The members of CFAJ have a common goal and dream: to render CFAJ autonomous. You can help by buying and promoting our products. This supports the teachers and the children. It is also an investment in Haiti’s future.”

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Arts school budget

Click to view the Arts School Budget

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Article by Arnaud Robert (French)

La première fois que j’ai pénétré dans la cour de Didier Civil, je pensais visiter l’atelier de l’un de ces artisans talentueux que les rues fines de Jacmel abritent depuis toujours. Jacmel est une petite cité sur la Côte méridionale d’Haïti, un lieu détaché de presque tout, dont l’indépendance fait la fierté de ses quelques milliers d’habitants. Pour y arriver, il faut arpenter depuis Port-au-Prince une route en lacet, traverser un certain nombre de cols, éviter les ânes et parvenir enfin sur une sorte de delta végétal qui incarne à lui seul, dans l’imaginaire occidental, la Caraïbe au premier jour.

Didier Civil appartient à sa ville. Pour lui, les années s’articulent autour de la grande fête du carnaval où les ouvriers de la beauté affutent leurs pièces les plus truculentes. Il ne connaît rien tant que ces ruelles, ces maisons coloniales, la profusion des fêtes religieuses, du vodou et du catholicisme mêlés, l’existence semi-urbaine d’un terroir fondé sur d’anciennes traditions. A l’entrée de son échoppe, les masques de tigres, d’oiseaux, de figures mythologiques, dessinent un décor fauve. Ces pièces s’inscrivent dans une histoire du papier-mâché propre à Jacmel et leur brillance procède d’un talent collectif.

Mais, passé la première pièce, au-delà de ce couloir bouillant, je suis tombé nez à nez avec un Indien de trois mètres, étalé sur le sol, façonné en une terre rugueuse qui séchait au soleil. Et puis, un peu plus loin, une sorte d’ossuaire à ciel ouvert, constitué de tentatives abandonnées, de portraits miraculeux et de projets démesurés. Didier Civil, ce jour-là, a sorti son album-souvenir. Et les pages plastifiées disaient l’ampleur de l’oeuvre autant que les ambitions futures. Il y avait là des photographies de ses idées mises en forme pour les carnavals successifs. Défilé de têtes de dictateurs, d’esprits vodou, de présidents haïtiens (certaines catégories se confondaient).

Didier Civil travaille sur cette matière qu’on croit pauvre de la terre rouge qui sert de moule et de rebuts de carton qui finissent par constituer des forêts familières. Le génie de Civil, qui dépasse en cela le strict cadre de l’artisanat, ne réside pas seulement dans son extraordinaire habileté à donner vie à l’inerte. Mais à réinventer sans cesse, avec une ardeur de combattant, les outils et les formes du folklore haïtien pour les transporter vers une esthétique de l’universel. J’ai acquis toutes les pièces que je pouvais, lors de cette première rencontre. Une petit girafe, un monstre cornu qu’il n’avait pas encore peints. Mais aussi les bustes héroïques, en tricorne, des révolutionnaires haïtiens. Toussaint Louverture et Jean-Jacques Dessalines n’existent plus désormais seulement dans les livres ou la mémoire insulaire, mais dans mon appartement.

Plus tard, pour une exposition sur le vodou inaugurée à Genève et qui voyage en ce moment dans toute l’Europe, j’ai commandé à Didier Civil une représentation de la cérémonie du Bois-Caïman qui avait lancé en 1791 l’appel à la révolte des esclaves sur l’île de Saint-Domingue. Je rêvais enfin de voir Civil se confronter à des pièces monumentales – il se comporte devant la terre et le carton comme un ingénieur pour lequel les défis techniques ne sont que des problèmes en voie de résolution. Il a sculpté dans le carton, avant qu’il ne durcisse, un couple légendaire. Celui de l’esclave affranchi Boukman et de la prêtresse sacrificatrice Fatima. La puissance du geste, la clarté du trait (la même qui lui fait réaliser des squelettes grandeur nature pour les écoles de Jacmel), continuent de sidérer les visiteurs de notre exposition.

Haïti n’a jamais incarné seulement, pour moi, la faillite irrémédiable souvent décrite. Ce pays miniature est d’abord le lieu de tous les remixes, d’une créolité perpétuellement reformulée et de prouesses poétiques sans équivalent. A mon sens, Didier Civil, qui a choisi les outils les plus simples pour fomenter ses chefs-d’oeuvre, incarne cette disposition à tirer le meilleur parti des éléments qui nous entourent. Il n’est pas seulement un artisan magnifique. Mais il est en passe de devenir l’un des artistes les plus saisissants d’une île qui en compte tant.

Arnaud Robert, journaliste et concepteur de l’exposition « Vodou, un art de vivre » (Genève, 2008).

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Arts School of Jacmel

Didier Civil:  Founder/Director

I am working to be able to create a school in Jacmel to teach traditional crafts as a way of teaching a trade and skills that will help to generate an income as an artisan directed at the tourist industry and interest in traditional crafts worldwide.

ENARTS (Ecole Nationale des Arts) is in Port-au-Prince . Matriculation requires graduation from high school, exams and one must pay tuition. These qualifications make it impossible for the general population to participate.

I want to establish a school open to the general public of Jacmel – all ages . The skills they learn will enable many of them to earn a living by learning  a trade

The school will create different types of opportunities.

Some students with exceptional talent will go on to create unique pieces.

Others will work more as artisans in mass production of series and might even work on large commissions.

There will be a store at the school.

We will bring in guest teachers from Port-au-Prince and other Haitian cities and as well inviter artists from abroad to spend time at the school in Jacmel to teach . They will stay with a Haitian family , eat their meals in the community and see all the wondrous sites of Haiti.

I will concentrate on papier mache technique to explore the full range of sculptural possibilities from the folkloric image to abstraction;

Basics of  Painting and drawing

Ceramics – from the folkloric to the abstract

Scupture – wood; papier mache; clay; metal;

2004 – 2007 –  I was one of the Founders of the Centre de Formation Artistique de Jacmel (CFAJ) This Center was supported by KONPAY (Konbit Pou Ayiti), an organization based in the US that donated money and supplies so that CFAJ could pay teachers, and provide scholarships for the community. CFAJ is no longer active.

My school will fill this vacuum

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Personal statement (Creole)

Nom mwen se Didier Civil,

Mwen fèt nan peyi d’Haiti,nan yon vil ki rele Jacmel.Se la mwen fè etid klasik mwen.e se la mwen grandi tou…

Jacmel yon ti vil ki sitiye nan pati Sidès nan peyi d’Haiti.Yon ti vil ki  atiran anpil epi ki frekente pa anpil etranje pou ospitalite li ,yo bali yon ti nom ki rele capital kiltirel ak atistik,epi tou yo te deklare li ofisyelman  vil kanaval la an Haiti.

Poum pale de kile mwen te komanse nan domèn atistik la epi espesyalman nan domèn papye mache a ,fok mwen di ke ART se yon bagay ou genyen nan ou ,epi se yon lè wap dekouvri  ke ou gen yon talan kite kache nan ou.

Pou fè swit ak sa mwen sot di a ,se te nan laj 10 zan yo konsa ,mwen te komanse ap dekouvri sa ,nan repwodwi  kèk desen mwen

Te kon n jwen n nan tout kalite liv

Epi fok mwen di tou mwen te gen chans grandi nan katye kote yo te konn fè mask ,tankou nan yon katye kite rele sou l’hopital e ki kounye a pote non Ri  Beauvais,ak nan  Ri Ste Anne ,ki reprezante

Kounye a basen Atizana a nan jacmel.

Mwen te gen chans tou poum te wè Lyonel Simonis kap travay.epi li se youn nan premye moun ki te realize mask an papye mache nan vil la .

Epi se konsa mwen te vin n antre nan eseye fè mask  tou.

Mwen vinn komanse santi ke mwen kapab fè mask.

Se nan lane 1989 ak 1990 mwen te fonde yon gwoup maskarad ki rele LA PAIX ,e ki jiska prezan ap patisipe nan kanaval la malgre ke mwen pa fe pati de moun kap dirije l’ yo anko.Se te  yon mwayen tou pou mwen poum te fè anpil mask pou gwoup la.E se   sa ki te vin n ban mwen yon abilte nan zafè fè mask .

Mwen toujou trè fyè poum wè mask ke mwen realize pran pri  nan kanaval ,nan bal maske ak nan ekspozisyon,ect…

Epi lot satisfaksyon ke mwen genyen anko se lè mwen wè moun ke mwen te montre fè mask ,gen ladan yo ki vin n gen pwòp gwoup maskarad pa yo,epi ki pran prim .Ki donk sa montre ke konesans la  ap pataje.

Mwen te gen yon Sant fomasyon mwen te fòme ak kèk lòt moun .nan lide pou nou te ka pataje konesans nou ak timoun ki vle apran n …

sa pat rive dire lontan  malerezman…

Men rèv la toujou la ,pou  mwen kreye yon Lekol d’Art nan jacmel nan menm lide pou pataje konesans epi fè echanj kiltirel ak lot nasyon ki ta enterese

Epi kreye kèk atelye pwodiksyon kote moun ka travay  nan domen atistik la.

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May 14, 2010

The first time I entered Didier Civil’s courtyard, I believed I was visiting one of those talented artisans (just one among many others)  – I discovered later that he was a strong and unique artist Jacmel is a little town on Haiti’s southern coast, a detached place, where a spirit of independence is strong for its few thousand inhabitants. To get there, you have to trace a winding road past Port-au-Prince, through a number of passes, avoiding the donkeys, and you finally arrive at a kind of lush delta that embodies, in the western imagination, the first day in the Caribbean.

Didier Civil belongs to his village. For him, the years revolve around the great feast of carnival where the workers of beauty sharpen their most vibrant pieces.

He knows nothing as well as these streets , the colonial mansions, the profusion of religious manifestations in color and sound , vodou mixed with catholicism, the semi-urban existence of a locale founded on ancient  traditions.  At the entrance of his stall, the masks of tigers, birds, of mythological figures draw a wild decor. These pieces come out of  Jacmel’s own history of papier-måché and their brilliance comes from a collective talent.

But, after the first room, after the boiling corridor, I  found myself nose to nose with a three-meter Indian spread on the ground, made of  rough earth drying in the sun. And then, a little further, a kind of ossuary with an open sky, filled with abandoned attempts —  miraculous portraits and colossal projects. That day Didier took out a scrapbook and the laminated pages showed the scope of his work and future ambitions. He had scrapbooks of photos of past carnivals,  a parade of heads of dictators, vodou spirits, Haitian presidents, where some categories were mingled.

Didier Civil works with this material of red clay and makes a mold with scrap cardboard to create his familiar forests. The genius of Civil exceeds the strict framework of craft, not only in his extraordinary ability to bring the inert into life, but to constantly reinvent, with passion, the tools and forms of Haitian folklore,  transporting them into a universal  esthetic. I bought all the pieces I could at that first meeting — a little giraffe, a horned monster he had not yet painted, but also heroic busts, in tricornerd hats, of revolutionary Haitians. Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines  who now exist in Civil’s masks as well as in history books books or memory..

Later, for an exhibit on vodou that opened in Geneva and now travels throughout Europe, I commissioned Didier Civil to create  a representation of the ceremony of Bois-Caiman, which in 1791 launched the slave revolt in the island of Santo Domingo. I dreamed of seeing Civil construct  monumental pieces; he acts with earth and cardboard as an engineer for whom technical challenges are only problems to be resolved. He sculpted in cardboard, before it hardened, a legendary couple — that of the freed slave Boukman, and of the sacrificial priestess Fatima. The power of gesture,  the clarity of line ( the same that he used to make life-size skeletons for the schools in Jacmel), continue to astound the visitors of our exhibition.

Haiti has not only embodied, for me, the hopeless failures frequently described. This small country is principally a place  of all mixtures, of a creole identity perpetually reformulated, and of unmatched poetic feats. In my opinion, Didier Civil, who has chosen the simplest tools to create his masterpieces, embodies this tendency to take the best elements that surround us. He is not only a magnificent artisan; he is also becoming one of the most outstanding artists from an island that has so many.

Arnaud Robert – Geneva. Switzerland

Writer/Filmmaker/Curator

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