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The Haiti ExceptionAnthropology and the Predicaments of Narrative$
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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Jhon Picard Byron, Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Mark Schuller, and Jhon Picard Byron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382998

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382998.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

‘Haitian Art’ and Primitivism: Effects, Uses and Beyond

‘Haitian Art’ and Primitivism: Effects, Uses and Beyond

(p.120) ‘Haitian Art’ and Primitivism: Effects, Uses and Beyond1
The Haiti Exception

Carlo A. Célius

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines primitivism within the context of ‘Haitian art’ and argues that European and North Atlantic academic and art institutions have relegated Haitian plastic arts to the Hegelian space of the anti-modern. It describes the historicization of the fine arts in order to establish the existence of distinct realms of plastic creation in a society born of colonization like Haiti. It also reflects on a personal experience of vulnerability to double-consciousness prompted by the silencing prejudgements of the Euro-North American anthropological gaze. The chapter suggests that the (neo-)primitivist paradigm is reliant on cultivated ignorance, unchanging stereotypes and exoticist understandings of Afro-ontology.

Keywords:   primitivism, Haitian art, Haiti, plastic arts, fine arts, anthropological gaze, stereotypes, Afro-ontology, plastic creation

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