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Dominique Duroseau

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Artist 98 Dominique Duroseau The Uncomfortable interdisciplinary Art

Dominique Duroseau is an American-born Haitian interdisciplinary artist who explores themes of racism, socio-cultural issues, and existential dehumanization.

She deals with cultural hybridizations, redefining texts, and topics and issues focused on Black Culture’s constant striving within today’s society.

In her own words, “I work within the cusp of my cultures as Haitian, American, and African Diaspora, and I link unresolved issues across time as a political strategy. This takes into account language, mannerisms, social issues, and injustice; it depicts our contemporary struggles against indifference, coded vernacular, and entrenched economic dispositions.”

She deals with colonial influences, struggles of being a woman, and criticism of imperialist white supremacist patriarchal cultures.

Today’s focus is on her show “Black Things in White Spaces” . The show is curated by Jeanne Brasile and is a grim shrine. It is filled with the decapitated mannequins, the stark white walls swathed in pierced black fabric, recontextualized Life magazines featuring cover stars with brown faces and white bodies.

But Duroseau dives beneath the cryptic play on color and contrast to render a salient narrative about the black American experience and the objectification of women.

She’s watched frustrated viewers turn their backs on her pieces, been labeled a troublemaker, had the validity of her work questioned – she’s even been told that her art is “out of line” and “degrading.”

The first and main article I found by Seph Rodney reflects this. He speaks on his feels that her work is reduced to a few signs of ethnic identity and sexual stereotype. He compares her show with a fascination of whiteness. It’s very frustrating to me this one article alone is the first main source I could find.

By reading her texts and her titles (which I’ve purposely added) I feel a much more aggressive and blunt energy. She is defiantly showing how she feels. Her work is intended to make the viewer uncomfortable.

The use of trash bag plastic carries not feeling of worth. The distorting of the bodies reflects a society where she clearly feels broken and that her body doesn’t fit expectations. These are real and difficult aspects of negotiating identity both as a woman and as a person of colour.

In her own words her work is not meant to refined but make you think.

I can understand the frustration of looking for different forms of representation of racial discourses and identity but I don’t think you can dismiss an artist who is still dealing with pain and anxiety. Her works hold power and anger and work that makes us uncomfortable and tackles stereotypes is very important.


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