Restauration du Serment des Ancêtres

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Le Serment des Ancetres a la Banque de la Republique d’Haiti

Le Serment des Ancetres a la Banque de la Republique d'Haiti

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Gathering Information

Le Serment des Ancêtres has triggered many comments along its long history of mobility between Haïti and France. It is currently exhibited at the Banque de la Republique d’Haiti (BRH), and awaiting its next best exhibition space.

I have for goal to make a quick survey highlighting the painting and gathering people’s views on its composition, its history and its meaning for Haiti nowadays. To accomplish this exercise, I will distribute postcards with the painting on one side and questions on the other side. Those questions may vary upon the place in which I distribute the postcards

The very first place in which I want to distribute those postcards is at the BRH, for the employees’ reactions upon the painting’s arrival in their building. 

The other candidates are: Students at ENARTS, Close friends from Highschool in Haiti, Colleagues at an International Architecture NGO in Haiti, Current students of a Catholic Highschool in Haiti, a few architect and artist friends, a few Haitian friends currently living in the States, a few American and European friends.

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“Lire un Tableau”

On écrit sur l’art à partir de trois éléments. Au séminaire sur l’écriture d’art, il a été développé les caractéristiques de ces trois éléments. L’oeil qui voit, le savoir qui analyse et le regard qui interprète. Nous proposons comme repère de travail de ces trois éléments le tableau “Le Serment des Ancêtres” de Guillaume Guillon Lethière qui est restauré pour la deuxième fois et remis à Haïti. Cette oeuvre, qui appartient à notre patrimoine immatériel collectif, ne doit pas être enfermée dans une banque. En attendant la construction d’un musée métropolitain, elle devrait être exposée, sous surveillance policière, dans un bâtiment aménagé au Champ de Mars pour être vue de tous. Nous proposons aux lecteurs d’aller voir Le Marron inconnu du sculpteur et architecte Albert Mangonès et de faire des liens de synthèse entre les deux oeuvres.

Pierre Clitandre pour Le Nouvelliste, 11 Avril 2013 “Lire Un Tableau”

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The value of Interpretations

http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=111754

Upon Le Serment des Ancetres’ arrival in Haiti on December 2012, the Haitian newspaper “Le Nouvelliste” published an article that made the front page of the December 14-16 week-end edition. In this article, Valéry Daudier presents the artwork as an important piece that renders our Fathers of Independence with all the honor they deserve. However, his article does not take into account the possible significance of the White God hovering above Dessalines and Pétion with his hands out, in a sanctifying gesture. Having dismissed to dig deeper in the analysis of the painting, this article may strengthen beliefs that the Haitian population is being blindly led by an over-powering figure, but I was glad to discover readers’ comments at the bottom of Daudier’s article on Le Nouvelliste’s webpage. Those comments capitalize the obvious questions of race, religion and supremacy that the painting flagrantly portrays:

Comment 1- December 15, 2012

What a shame!!! Jean-Jacques Dessalines, nég ki te pran endepandans li nan men Blan, nég ki te patisipe nan seremoni bwa kayiman an, prens afriken an, the first emperor of Haiti, se men’m nég sa yo montre nou ki ap resevwa benediksyon nan men yon bondye blan!!! No wonder our ancestors have abandoned us. Is anyone in Haiti thinking?? what godanm shame!!!

Translation: What a shame!!! Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the Black Man who has given us our Independence from the White, the Black Man who participated in the ceremony of Bois Caiman, the African prince, First Emperor of Haiti… is that him receiving blessing from a White God? No wonder our ancestors have abandoned us. Is anyone in Haiti thinking?? What a godamn shame!!!

Comment 2- December 16, 2012

Bon le ou di Bondye blan an, ou ap pale de Bondye ki koule blan oubyen Bondye mounn ki koule blan? Mwen ta renmen ou konnen si ou ap pale de Bondye mounn ki koule blan, ou sipoze monte nan sous la paske blan yo se pran yo pran li nan men Hebreu yo paske yo rekonet li BON, mwen pa we poukisa nou ki nwa pa ta ka pran Bondye sa a tou.

Comment 3- December 16, 2012

Si yon ti Ayisyen ap kade tablo sa, kouman ou vle pou li pa panse ke blan an pi siperyé ke nwa a? Lé yon etrange antre nan palé nou an, ou pa kwé si li wé tablo sa li ap santi li gen yon sans de siperyorite sou Ayisyen an? Nwen ap pale do tou de. Bondye blan an ke nou adopte a, avek koulé li tou. Ou fé yon bon pwen, ou di ke si blan yo adopte bondye a poukisa nou paka adopte li tou? Sa ou pa konsidere, sé ke kou blan an adopte bondye a yo kreye li sou imaj yo. Jezi pat yon nég blan ak je vét, cheve tonbe sou do. KOTE JEZI SOTI A PA GEN MOUN BLAN KI SOTI LA. Men depi yo montre yon foto bodye oubyen Jezi, se you nég blan yo tojou montre ou. sak fé sa?

Comment 4- December 16 2012

Se bien malereu nou pa janm ka mande “des Comtes”a moun ki dirige peyi a pandan ke yo te sou pouvoi..Ti Rene Preval par exanple ta sipoze explike sou kestion sa.a….men de tout fason Se on peinture ki te ofer par on etrange a ayiti..e ki te déjà passé lan men blan franse pou reparation Dan le passe..donk fe on tole sou sa pap raporte anyen pou dignite pep ayisien ,ak honer zancetre Nou yo…lot kestion ki pi inportant ..eske Nou gen restaurateur an ayiti ki te kab restaure tableau sa.a…mwen pa kwe..

Comment 5- December 17, 2012

Tablo sa bèl men li pa joli, paske si zansèt nwa nou yo ta leve pou yo wè anj blan sa oubyen dye blan sa sou tèt yo nan tablo sa, yo t ap tounen mouri ankò oubyen yo te fè yon lòt 1804. Tablo sa enpòtan anpil pou Fransè yo, paske li montre kolonizasyon an nan yon lòt sans, se plas sa religion vin jwe konnya.

 

Comment 6- December 18, 2012

Amen!!

No need for translation… ironically

Comment 7- December 15, 2012

Si on nous a remis la vraie? esperons que c’est pas une copie

Comment 8- December 16, 2012

nou gen yon pwovèb ki di bèf ki gen lèt pa janm rele, nap di blan restore, Bondye blan, eske nou menm nou te ka rive restore tablo a, eske menm lè nou te kapab fèl , eske nou tap fèl, eske nou tap rive bali enpòtans li genyen pou nou an, li ta bon avan nou pale fok nou ta reflechi.

Comment 9- December 16, 2012

Tablo sa pa sipoze nan palé nou. Nou pa sipoze konsidere’l oken sot de “National treasure”. Tablo sa derespekte Lespri Dessalines. Si li te leve kounye a pou li wé tablo sa, kijan ou panse li tap reaji. Se pou nou onore zansét nou yo, sakrifis yo te fé pou yo te ka libere nou, se sél fason nou ka repran’n indepandans nou!!

Comment 10- December 16,  2012

Mezanmi sa fè wont minn kote nou pa prepare pou nou mete tablo important sa.Min si se lajan yo tap deja konnin ki kote yo tap mete li.

Comment 11- December 17,  2012

Stop criticizing people. This painting is inestimable, it was a gift to Haiti by a Guadeloupean artist.The french did us a service and repaired it for Us, instead of criticizing maybe we should say thank you, because if it wasn’t for their help, it would been lost or completely destroyed God is not human, therefore has no ethnicity. We Haitians need to look a things more positively.

Comment 12- December 18, 2012

If God has no Ethnicity, then why is he always depicted as caucasian?

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Le Serment des Ancêtres back in Haiti and exhibited at the Banque Republique d’Haiti

LeSermentdesAncetres_LeNouvellisteMore about those wonderful news on this link: http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=111754

 

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Fred Wilson

episode-structures

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