Poetics of Selfhood / Poétique de l’Ipséité explores variations on Créole and Francophone identities as expressed through the work of five contemporary artists. This project is envisioned as a multi-year, multi-destination exhibition, which will grow and adapt to new contexts of the Créole world as it is re-mounted at new destinations across the French-speaking world. The first iteration of this exhibition is currently being showcased at Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana, through January 14, 2023.

The goal of Poetics of Selfhood / Poétique de l’Ipséité is to expand the understanding of Créole identity as a worldwide cultural identity — “Créolité” — which has a well-developed place in contemporary culture as seen in visual art, performance, and personal expression. The exhibition focuses on the work of five artists who deal with notions of Créolité in the subject matter of their pieces: Gwladys Gambie (Martinique), Rebecca D. Henry (United States), Jérémie Priam (Martinique), Tabita Rezaire (French Guyana), and Modou Dieng Yacine (US/Senegal).

Rebecca D. Henry, “LA LA,” acrylic on canvas

From the paintings of Louisiana Creole folklorist and folk healer Rebecca D. Henry to the futuristic decolonial imaginings of Jérémie Priam, this exhibition hopes to serve as an interconnected conversation between artists’ practices and the world views they represent. Modou Dieng-Yacine intends to draw links between his homes in Saint-Louis, Senegal, and New Orleans, Louisiana, by teasing out aspects of the Créole architecture residing in both places. Tabita Rezaire and Gwladys Gambie both aim to honor the feminine form through their contemporary approaches to two-dimensional artworks.

Poetics of Selfhood / Poétique de l’Ipséité is a project by Acadiana Center for the Arts in partnership with La Station Culturelle, Fort-de-France, Martinique. It is supported by Etant donnés Contemporary Art, a program from Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States, with support from the French Ministry of Culture, Institut français, the Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel, and ADAGP.

Curated by Eléna-Lou Arnoux, La Station Culturelle, Fort-de-France, Martinique; Jaik Faulk, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA; and Éline Gourgues, La Station Culturelle, Fort-de-France, Martinique.

Poetics of Selfhood / Poétique de l’Ipséité is on view in Lafayette, Louisiana, at Acadiana Center for the Arts through January 14, 2023.

For more information, visit acadianacenterforthearts.org and follow them on Instagram @acadianacenterforthearts.

 Jérémie Priam, “Réconciliation” (2021), driftwood, recycled paper, Cowrie shells, rope, staples, nails, 10 x 3.5 x 3 inches (image courtesy the artist)
Gwladys Gambie, “Cartographie Sensible” (2021), ink, embroidery on canvas, conch, plant
Tabita Rezaire, “Inner Fire: Shadeliscious” from Inner Fire (2016–2017), series of five natural fiber prints, 67 x 39 inches, edition of five

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