Raphaël Barontini

Blue Lewoz

Blue Léwoz is a new phase in the spectacular web of encounters artist Raphaël Barontini has been creating for several years. It is also the next step in an embodied reflection on Creolization as theorized by Édouard Glissant: that which is practiced in the belly of the plantation – the most iniquitous and sinister world that can be, this thing that is done nevertheless, [which] leaves the “being” flapping with a single wing. Because the “being” is destabilized by the diminution he carries within. He himself affects a consideration of the diminution as such, a diminution which is, for example, that of his specifically African value.


Raphaël Barontini invites us to a secret slave cotillion, within the gallery’s main lobbies. It is midnight blue, in memory of the night where joyful events always huddled, taking shelter from the constant threat. Materially, it is tinted with indigo, the mixture made of plants cultivated in colonial empires beginning in the 17th century. Indigo is an intensely powerful dark blue color matrix. Here, it contaminates the whole exhibition, unrolling a history that is Guadeloupean, Martinican, European, and ultimately planetary. Every shade of this blue matter, from turquoise to ultramarine, is rich with evocations: the blue walls of the home shack and the blue ocean of the crossing, the grave, the goddess, and the womb.


Excerpt from a text by Eva Barois De Caevel. Text translated in English by Anita Conrade.


Videographer: Cyril Paulus. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim.