Dialogue and Publication Launch: Correspondence between NYC & P-au-P

Book cover
Hand-painted lettering by Martyna Szczesna for the publication Correspondence between NYC & P-au-P (2016), organized by Alva Mooses.
Work by Rejin Leys and Daniel Simidor
Te Glise (Slippery Ground) (2016), by Rejin Leys and Daniel Simidor.
Aiyana flower arrangement by Andy Robert
Aiyana flower arrangement (2015), by Andy Robert.
Nathalie Jolivert at the École Élie Dubois in Port-au-Prince, 2013.
Nathalie Jolivert at the École Élie Dubois in Port-au-Prince, 2013.
Hand-painted lettering by Martyna Szczesna for the publication Correspondence between NYC & P-au-P (2016), organized by Alva Mooses. Te Glise (Slippery Ground) (2016), by Rejin Leys and Daniel Simidor. Aiyana flower arrangement (2015), by Andy Robert. Nathalie Jolivert at the École Élie Dubois in Port-au-Prince, 2013.

Nathalie Jolivert, Rejin Leys, Jerry Philogene, and Andy Robert present their individual practices as a point of departure for a conversation on art related to the spaces of New York City and Port-au-Prince. Considering the artist studio as a space of production and at times also of living, most artists submerged in the city gather and repurpose material from the spaces around them, both physical found objects and mental observations. Through their work, artists participate in the transformation of the urban fabric. The relationship between an artwork and the context in which it is produced is not a monolog, but a conversation wherein the two engage with each other in dialogue that subsequently changes both.

The conversation will address subjects related to the mapping of non-Euclidean spaces — whether it be a celestial or subaltern space, informal economies, or psychogeographies — investigating their effects on the produced artworks and contemplating the relationship to the spaces of production. When these non-Euclidean works are brought into proximity of architecture, how will they alter the space?

The conversation will be moderated by Visiting Lecturer Alva Mooses, followed by the launch of the limited edition publication Correspondence between NYC & P-au-P, which Mooses developed over the past year as a means of connecting artworks and writing from the two metropoles.

Nathalie Jolivert is a New York City–based architect and artist who grew up in Port-au-Prince and received her B.F.A. and B.Arch. from RISD. While at RISD she won the Gensler National Diversity Award in 2011, which features her eco-touristic project for the indigenous Wayuu tribe of La Guajira in Colombia. Professionally, Jolivert worked on various projects with Architecture For Humanity, Studio Drum Collaborative, and the Architectural Association Visiting School in Haiti. As a painter, she also won a travel art residency to Bangladesh and Malawi which led to an exhibition at the Frontiers in Development Forum in Washington, DC (2014). Her interest in the urban fabric of Port-au-Prince led her to write an essay titled "Bringing down the Walls," published in UCLA's Haiti NOW urban almanac (2015). Jolivert's design process is often inspired by local stories, which she incorporates throughout her architectural and art projects.

Rejin Leys is a mixed-media artist and community papermaker based in New York City. Her drawings and artist's books have been exhibited at such venues as Centro Cultural de Espana, Santo Domingo; Kentler International Drawing Space, New York City; Queens Museum, New York City; and Les Ateliers J.R. Jerome, Port-au-Prince. Her work is in the collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Yale University, and the Rutgers University Caribbean Studies Department. In 1995 Leys was awarded a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Jerry Philogene is an associate professor in the American studies and Africana studies departments at Dickinson College. She received her doctorate from New York University in American Studies. Her articles have appeared in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, BOMBMagazine, Radical History Review, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, and, most recently, Journal of Haitian Studies. She has published numerous exhibition catalog essays. She is the coeditor of a special forthcoming issue of Small Axe (March 2017) that will focus exclusively on the work of women artists from the global Caribbean. She is currently working on a manuscript, titled The Socially Dead and the 'Improbably Citizen:' Cultural Transformations of Haitian Citizenship, which provides a rich, textured analysis of the power of the visual field and its complex relationship between violence, domination, and liberation through an exploration of contemporary painting, photography, film, and comics. An award-winning teacher, Philogene was the recipient of Dickinson College's 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Andy Robert was born in Les Cayes, Haiti, and received his B.F.A. in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. Robert attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Robert has exhibited at the Bienal de las Fronteras (Instituto Tamaulipeco papa la Cultura y las Artes) in Tamaulipas, Mexico; Papillion Art, Night Gallery, and Hannah Hoffman Gallery in Los Angeles; Dimensions Variable, Miami; and at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Robert is currently the 2016 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Correspondence between NYC & P-au-P was made possible with the generous support of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Community Engagement Grant, and the artists featured in the publication: Katelyn Alexis, Jhon Charles, Xavier Dalencour, Papa Da (Alphonse Jean Junior), Dyapazon (Erntz Jeudy), Andre Eugene, Leah Gordon, Getho Jean-Baptiste, Nathalie Jolivert, Pascale Monnin, Valerie Noisette, Rasin (Joseph Fils Racine), RAM, Ruthger Richard, Claude Saintilus, @seebytouch, Felipe Baeza, Lea Cetera, Mauricio Cortes Ortega, Laura Serejo Genes, Claudia Cortinez, Richard Arthur Fleming, Frances Gallardo, Troels Steenholdt Heiredal, Samuel Jablon, Marsha Jean-Charles, Rejin Leys, Daniel Simidor, Jerry Lim, Alva Mooses, Andrew Cornell Robinson, and Kantara Souffrant.