On Five Car Stud by Ed Kienhilz

Review of Kienholz’s work, including the important anti-racist installation of 1969-72,
Five-Car Stud

Strange Cargo: Jane Alexander at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

Okwui Enwezor described the ephemera of Africa that arrived in European docks as “strange cargo”: as it was unloaded from ship to warehouse by longshoremen, as it was bid on, sold, and displayed in wealthy homes, lost and rediscovered, each object shaped European visions of Africa. ‘Africa’ as we imagine it now, was shaped by that strange cargo. Later in his essay in the January 1996 issue of frieze, Enwezor asked, “Why do we never consider the achievements of those artists who at great professional cost and individual isolation have not only transcended but have equally transfigured the borders constituting the notion of Africanity?” South African artist Jane Alexander’s work, now positioned throughout the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighbourhood, is part of the tradition of Africa’s strange cargo, but it is freight that – possibly at the cost of easy audience engagement, and…

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ACRAH Update | Website Launch: www.acrah.org

ACRAH has a new web address: www.acrah.org

We have registered acrah.org as our domain and are working on expanding our website. The Grapevine blog is still live and we hope that you will continue to visit, follow, and share information with us. See our submissions guidelines to share your CRAH related news.

We are seeking contributors who are interested in reviewing exhibitions and publications and/or blogging a column on a regular basis (monthly?). Share your expertise and thoughts about art and race matters. Interested? Send an email to acrah@ymail.com

Bear with us as we continue to update the site and let us know how you like the new features as they appear. Anything that you would like to see in the future?

Thank you all for your continued interest and support of ACRAH.

Photojournalism: Restaveks, the “Ultimate Have-Nots in a Society of Have-Nots”

Repeating Islands


Deborah Sontag (The New York Times) reports on the work of Vlad Sokhin, a photographer who has been focusing on Haiti’s restaveks for a series called “Restavek: Child Slavery in Haiti.” Sontag explains: “Haiti is estimated to have 250,000 restaveks—children working as unpaid domestic servants after their parents, who cannot afford to raise them, give them away.” While the photo above seems to be benign enough, most of the other photos in the series were positively bone-chilling. Here are excerpts of the article with links to the full version and the series of sobering photos:

Twelve-year-old Judeline crouches at the feet of a much younger girl, lifting high a makeup kit so the little girl, Boubou, can apply a colored pencil to her brow. Boubou studies herself intently in the kit’s mirror; Judeline, hidden to her, stares at us with a look that seems both humiliated and beseeching. Taken by…

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Exhibition Review: Los Carpinteros’ Playful Impertinence

Repeating Islands


On Saturday, the Cuban art duo Los Carpinteros (“The Carpenters”) opened an exhibition of new work titled Irreversible. It should be called Irreverent, as Wendy Moonan writes for Architectural Recod.

The show, which occupies the entire Sean Kelly Gallery in Manhattan through June 22, includes an 11-foot-wide architectural watercolor, a room-size installation involving smashed tomatoes, a video depicting a conga dance in reverse (music also in reverse), and three sculptures that look like spacecraft.

The “Carpenters” are Dagoberto Rodriguez and Marco Castillo, Cuban-born artists who have worked together since 1991. They now divide their time between Havana and Madrid. Their work often merges art and architecture in unexpected and amusing ways as it comments on past and present society and politics. It frequently reflects the artists’ youth in Castro’s Cuba, growing up with a government that used music, speech, and design to promise a utopian future that…

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Photographer highlights Jacmel (Haiti) life, culture

Repeating Islands

Photographer Jeane LaRance’s exhibition, “Haiti: A photographic exhibition of life and culture in LaVallée de Jacmel” is much more than its humble description claims. The show, currently on display at the Indigo Sky Community Gallery in Savannah, Georgia, is more than photographs — it is a window into another world, both remarkably different and strangely similar to this one, Reilly Mesco writes.

A photographer for most of her life, LaRance has gone to Haiti once every three months since 2005. She is a member of the Haitian Association for Human Development, a non-governmental organization aimed at promoting the well-being of Haitians.

LaRance travels alongside volunteers and doctors when she goes to Haiti, documenting her surroundings as the volunteers complete their work.

“We have top-notch doctors. We have not only general practitioners but dentists and eye surgeons,” LaRance said. “We have everything you really need. The biggest difficulty is the lack…

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Art in Times of Quake and Cholera: Edouard Duval Carrié

Repeating Islands

The University of Iowa’s Caribbean, Diaspora, and Atlantic Studies Program is pleased to announce its Spring Lecture by Edouard Duval Carrié, on Thursday March 1st, 2012, from 5:00P to 6:30 P, in the University Capitol Centre, 2520D.

A Haitian-born painter and sculptor based in Miami, Edouard Duval Carrié studied at Mc Gill University, University of Montreal and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. His “provocative work combines African fables, classical mythology, Haitian and world history with contemporary events.” It is widely exhibited, catalogued in several books and featured in numerous permanent collections including the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien in Port-au-Prince, the Figge Museum, the Miami Museum of Art, and the Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens in Paris. In his lecture Art in Times of Quake and Cholera he presents a selection of his recent production. He also talks about the different aspects of his activities in…

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The Naked Truth

Unframed The LACMA Blog

“Past is never dead. It’s not even past.”—William Faulkner

Black-on-black commentary is only slightly an inside story. For under the halo of “Negro Sunshine,” at the entrance to Glenn Ligon: AMERICA, I experienced moments of real cultural nostalgia. My mother and the dream book and the endless numbers racket, with its weird logic and odd asymmetrical poetry, were somehow lodged in Glenn Ligon’s magical series of numbered paintings. Apart from the unusually personal in Ligon’s piercing vision, conceptualism—that somewhat elusive creature—seems to find its most complete expression in his oeuvre. Ligon is prepared to stream unflinchingly through various media, extracting elegantly exquisite beauty swathed in a tireless drama of inventions. Here the iniquities of history are refracted and recast. The heroes and heroines are unknown, enfeebled, and lost in time. Irony is legible and graphic, taking the form of a children’s coloring book. He places specificity within our universal…

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REV: Andrews, Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay

George Reid Andrews. Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010. xiii + 241 pp. $59.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8078-3417-6; $22.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8078-7158-4.

Reviewed by Matthew F. Rarey (Department of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Published on H-AfrArts (August, 2011)
Commissioned by Jean M. Borgatti

Uruguay as Race and Nation

As the landscape of cultural studies scholarship increasingly favors transnational, translocal, and global analytical frameworks, George Reid Andrews’s Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay, offers a refreshingly nuanced and successful statement on the continuing importance of nation-specific analyses in the study of blackness and black history. Andrews contrasts Uruguayan social and cultural histories with those of other American nations, particularly in terms of black consciousness and racial (in)equality. At the same time, his careful research and use of primary sources hold the reader firmly inside Uruguay for the entire book. Andrews offers a wide range of case studies that speak to the roles played by political, social, and labor movements; sexuality; music; gender; race and minstrelsy; and carnivalesque performance in the formation of Uruguayan national understandings of blackness, whiteness, and the conception of racial democracy. What emerges is a complex yet highly accessible work, characterized by even-handed conclusions drawn from careful research and the foregrounding of primary sources. Blackness in the White Nation fills a major gap in Spanish- and English-language scholarship in the history of Latin America and the African diaspora, and should be of interest to scholars in fields as diverse as sociology and performance studies. Andrews’s work should also prove useful to advanced undergraduates and graduate students as well as to specialists in social and cultural history, music, dance, and performance, gender and women’s studies, and those interested in the continuing validity of national frameworks for working through African diasporic histories.


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