NanMitaNan: Haiti

JACMEL, HAITI.- FOSAJ (Fondation Sant D’A Jakmel) presents Nan Mitan-an, an installation by Ana Teresa Fernandez, on view through August 3, 2006. FOSAJ has established itself as one of Haiti’s few art institutions that promotes contemporary international and Haitian art.

Nan Mitan-an, meaning in between in the Creole language, is an installation based on the artist’s experience and perception of Haiti.

“Haiti is a bipolar island, it’s strong culture which seems ancient and old fashioned is contradicted with certain aspects of modernity.” Quoted by Ana.

The people of the island remain transparent and move around their space tending to their daily business. Outside, the grand perception of the island is that it is saturated with violence. Staying within context of her work, which deals with visible and invisible borders, Ana has created transparent, mellow scenes of daily life out of plastic bottles collected from the streets. These act as the in between of the light source and the shadow cast.

The elements of our throw away culture, litter the streets like a remnant of a past life. The every day scenes represent two paradoxical worlds. On one hand, the tradition of carving, the activities of the marketplace, the characters she passes each day, the dress, running parallel to the discarded waste prominent due to the lacking infrastructures. Plastic is everywhere. The transparency of the material relates to the invisibility of the real people of Haiti, mostly unknown to the rest of the world.

The installation tries to depict the essence of this Haitian position: In between. A Plato’s cave, capturing the shadows that emanate from the plastic carvings. Projected onto the gallery wall, the shadows become a reflection of the everyday life, almost forgotten and almost always questioning the reality that exists.

Kate Tarrat Cross