fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Myrlande Constant
La Biennale di Venezia

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Myrlande Constant

1968, Haiti

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Through her artistic innovations with drapo Vodou, the Vodou flag, Myrlande Constant has deeply changed how her nation’s traditional religious art registers with those unfamiliar with Haiti. Constant worked within an entirely male environment of flag-makers in the early 1990s when she made a radical shift in the tradition by using glass beads instead of sequins. After three decades dedicated to the medium, Constant’s method and style has influenced every drapo Vodou artist working today. Constant’s flags are large in size, often up to two metres wide, stretched on wood frames. Her energised, packed compositions are traced with hand-beading by the artist and many assistants. Her work merges contemporary culture with Haitian history and Vodou religion: deities and Christian saints (which are part of the hybrid Vodou belief system) are often immersed in magical atmospheres. Framed by imagery of electric guitars, albino fish, and purely decorative beaded adornments, Sirenes (2020), shows a crowded group of hybrid beings, their bodies transmogrifying from human to animal to mythic creature. GUEDE (Baron) (2020) presents spirits of fertility and the dead alongside altars, crosses, and the Pagan five-pointed star. Incorporating iconic symbology with an innovative technique, Constant’s work boldly adds to the cultural fluidity that burns at the core of Haiti’s soul and does so in defiance of gendered traditions.

Isabella Achenbach

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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte