M. Davis, Give me five, guys, and will wrap this up! | In the malediction of Cham Series | 2020
Backlit | Printing on Duratrans
48 x 30 in
Marielle Plaisir is a French-Caribbean multi-media artist currently living in the United States. Plaisir’s work examines the concept of social domination, and explores issues of colonialism alongside those of race and class, through a range of media which include painting, sculpture, photography, installation, film, and performance to present intense visual experiences. She examines, in particular, the construction of identity, and she asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today through new reflexes and how people who were born in the struggle of domination and power behave. She underlines the common issues between US black history and Caribbean History: the labor movements, the fights for equality through literature, philosophy, and history.
Through her work, she counters the concept of anti-blackness by presenting the color black, itself, as the subject of her paintings. Rather than use readymade black paint, Plaisir chose to create her own shade- utilizing every color in her palette as a symbol for the beauty, power, and multitudes of blackness. Within this space, Plaisir populates her background with lush imagery drawn from nature— constellations, natural forms, and flowers, inspired by both her Caribbean roots and her imagined ideal of a utopia without oppression. The works both resist and hope- they are reflective of Plaisir’s wish that her work will not only draw awareness to the importance of challenging harmful histories, but also speak to the interconnections of humans, the universality of fractured identities, and the power of recognizing and depicting inner worlds.