“Dancing with Caïto” and “’V’ for Victory” are part of the “Map” series which are portraits of several male relatives that have died prematurely. Caïto was a pioneer of break dancing in New York City who travelled to Thailand where he settled and later died of AIDS. The image used in that piece, depicts him break dancing in Washington Square Park. Tristan, my first cousin, was a gifted emerging rap composer who was shot to death while on vacation in St.Thomas. While I was drawn to use Caïto’s body, as he was a dancer, Tristan’s portrait depict his beautiful hands which are those of a maestro, of a musician using a turntable.
In the “Map” series, digital prints of fractured bodies are placed in altar-like recessed niches. The gesture of sectioning the original snapshots echoes not only the premature death of the subjects but also underlines the vulnerability of the human body. Echoing the tradition of craft, the beading symbolically “creolizes” the snapshots but also transforms and underscores a dialogue unfolding between the efficiency of the photographic technique and the meditative slowness and craftiness of the hand-beaded elements. And while on one hand the beading gesture itself underscores the damage done to the physical body it also is symbolically a healing gesture, and emphasizes the temporality of our physical bodies.
A girl sleeping on a stage.
Late night – the basement of Maison Française. Rows of dilapidated houses and a zooming red Volkswagen bug. A semi-circular alley in the tropic and an afternoon stroll…
Vladimir Cybil Charlier was born in 1967 in Elmhurst, Queens. She attended primary and secondary school in Haiti and spent her summers in New York City where she has been living since 1986. She received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from Queens College in 1991 and, in 1993, received her M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.
Prior to her 1997 residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem, she attended The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2003 she represented Haiti at the Biennial del Caribe in the Dominican Republic and the Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador. In 2006 she participated at the Venice Biennial. She has shown her work in many Caribbean and Latin American venues as well as the U.S. and Europe. Cybil currently resides in New York City, not too far from that old Maison Française.