Talks and performances at Ghetto Biennale

Tue 13 June

Expect free talks, ceremony, and club music merged with traditional Vodou percussion—all set among a living museum of objects, assemblages, portraits and sculptures at ALPHA60 Chapter House.

WED 14 JUNE, 6.30PM—8PM

Jean-Daniel Lafontant blesses and vivifies

Jean-Daniel Lafontant Vodou priest and guardian of the sacred Temple Na-Ri-VéH 777 will bless and vivify the sculptures by invoking the Vodou spirits in the exhibition space. Lafontant has been a long-time collaborator with the Ghetto Biennale through working with and, sometimes, accommodating visiting artists and generously inviting the artists to the temple to experience the drumming, singing and dancing of Vodou ceremony. Lafontant has also produced and helped shape a number of documentary films, art exhibitions, articles, conferences, projects, and events on Haitian art and culture, striving to communicate Vodou in its spiritual, philosophical, and cultural manifestations.

Attendees are encouraged to wear white for the ritual.


Vèvè X

Vèvè X is an ongoing series of performances where large-scale sigils are envisioned and drawn up in public by John Cussans and Robert N Peyre, alongside Vodou priest Jean-Daniel Lafontant. The creations are choreographic expansions, responding to inner and outer architectures and landscapes and their co-habitants. In their performance installations, so called Kolam-, Ponto- or Vèvè-like diagrams are drawn to celebrate and summon the ancestral and mystical spirits of the communities and places from within where the works are made. The process concludes in the collective ecstatic destruction of the sigils through dancing. The smeared floors serve as monumental abstract images with profound mediumistic qualities.

FRI 16 JUNE, 4.30PM

Jean-Daniel Lafontant and Leah Gordon in conversation with Mahmood Faizal

Jean-Daniel Lafontant and Leah Gordon, British co-curator of Ghetto Biennale in coversation with journalist Mahmood Faizal, discussing the triple contexts for the show: Haitian Revolutionary history, Spirituality and the contemporary material conditions for Haiti majority class artists.


Jan n Pase’l Pase and Mache N ap Mache (Walk the Walk & Talk the Talk)

Jan n Pase’l Pase is an immersive public runway, a live session merging club music with Haitian traditional Vodou percussion rhythms. In Jan n Pase’l Pas everybody is welcome and encouraged to indulge in physical appearances, to show off, to express and/or consummate throughout gazes, gestures and moves, languages, aura, patterns of embodiment and biological splendours, within the rhythm session. Artists Roberto N Peyre, Jerry R Chery (aka Twoket), John Cussans, Jean-Daniel Lafontant and Lucreccia Quintanilla (General Feelings Sound) will catalyse the energy. But the runway will be made ready (maybe readily) available to everyone present, as we're playfully encouraged to ‘walk the walk’.


Atis Rezistans (Resistance Artists) occupy Alpha 60 Chapter House with an ambitious, metamorphic celebration of Haitian street culture, spirit guardians and revolution.

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Ghetto Biennale is supported by ALPHA60.

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