Carte Blanche Alice Diop – Reformuler The Voyage of the Black Venus

[Highlights / Meetings]

Reading followed by a screening of the short films Conspiracy and Et les chiens se taisaient

The Voyage of the Black Venus is the epilogue to Robin Coste Lewis's poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems. A woman dreams her way through the museums of the world at night. She sets off in search of the fragmented bodies of all those black women who have populated the margins of paintings since the Renaissance. She invites them to join her on a voyage through time, on a ship captained by the Black Venus. This short prose text not only offers a radical re-reading of art history, but also illuminates the entire project of Robin Coste Lewis, Pulitzer Prize winner for Voyage of the Sable Venus and one of the most important poets on the American scene. On discovering this text, Alice Diop recognised her own questions, transfigured in this vast poetic and political epic. 

Conspiracy (2022, 25 minutes, in English) by Simone Leigh and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
with Simone Leigh, Kimari Hazward, Lorraine O'Grady, Edward Sales, Jin Sik, Sarah Wang, Anastasia Warren
Conspiracy is a collaborative film by artists Simone Leigh and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, celebrating the many facets of black women's identity. It blends sculpture and filmmaking to create a hypnotic work of art. The film is a reinterpretation of Hands of Inge from 1962, a documentary about the artist Ruth Inge Hardison, and pays homage to her artistic legacy and her defiance of white norms in the art world. This collaboration is the result of a ten-year creative friendship between Simone Leigh and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, sharing an ongoing conversation with other influential black women in the cultural field. Simone Leigh, born in 1967, is a versatile artist based in New York who explores the history and subjectivity of black women through sculpture, performance, video and installation. Her ceramic and bronze works denounce systemic racism, re-establishing the centrality of the black experience. She was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2022. Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich is a filmmaker and artist who explores the inner worlds of black women. Her award-winning films have been screened worldwide.

Et les chiens se taisaient (1978, 15 minutes) by Sarah Maldoror, Bernard Favre, Vincent Blanchet
Et les chiens se taisaient is a film inspired by Aimé Césaire's play in which the rebel expresses his revolt against the slavery of his people in a poignant poem. Actors Gabriel Glissant and Sarah Maldoror perform in the reserves of the Musée de l'Homme dedicated to Black Africa, integrating three silent spectators. Ancient statues and masks and views of Martinique's landscapes enhance the film.