The exhibition “Blue Lewoz” is open until July 23, 2022 at the Gallery Mariane Ibrahim and proposes a convocation of European art history and period images of the Caribbean by contemporary artist Raphael Barontini who appropriates societies to create his own stories and figures, between custom and creolization.

The Creole expression “Léwoz” comes from the Afro-Caribbean music that was standardized in Guadeloupe during the slave trade. These were happy weekend evenings for oppressed individuals who took care of their daily environment, joined by the routine, the atmosphere of gwoka and the sound of ka drums.

The different levels of the exhibition invite the viewer to evoke an aggregated country and a safe practice from the time of enslavement. Through representations on materials, embroidery, draperies, banners and material pieces, this new series transfers the reversal of a carnival. Painted figures present the actors of a fantastical and illusory nighttime story that alters a Caribbean-filled past.

The exhibition “Blue Lewoz” welcomes the guest to enter a Creole ball touched by indigo blue, the plant having been cultivated in the Caribbean during the period of slavery, an investigation into the historical backdrop of the subject through the color indigo, one of the frames of this procession. The rules of dress, material customs and representations of the court are hybridized and recomposed.

Raphaël Barontini unveils his own “Toile de Jouy” motif silk-screened on dyes, dresses and capes, which become a sign and a confusing and symbolic pictogram. Joined by a sound piece made in 2019 by American performer jump Mike Ladd and adjusted for the exhibition.

At the junction of European, African and Caribbean cultures, the exhibition “Blue Lewoz” inspects a complicated history and proposes a restored creative spirit. Memory, festival and custom come together to celebrate a pictorial feast with modern overtones. 

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