My name is Robert Peterson and I have been selected to participate in the 1st Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in December 2009.
The Ghetto Biennale will be held in and around the Grand Rue in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti in December of 2009. The Grand Rue is home to a community of internationally renowned sculptors. Due to the political and cultural climate there they are being denied United States entry visas and government support to participate in major biennales elsewhere in the world. Because of this they have invited a select group of international artists, architects, designers and thinkers to Port-au-Prince to make work and discover what happens when radically different cultures come together. As the organizers and curators for the event have said, " What happens when first world art rubs up against third world art? Does it bleed?"
My proposal for participation in the event follows:
Firsthand accounts of the apprenticeship system and the Grand Rue artists’ relationship to materials are at the core of this project. Using sound recording technology and displaying the finished work as a four channel audio sculpture the goal is to engender a dialog from which both cultures can take away something meaningful. My approach will encompass documentary, deep listening, recording that focuses on the sounds that are often caught between the labels of ‘background’ and ‘foreground’ in our consciousness, and environmental sound recording.
I am hopeful that what I make there will be useful to both cultures. I hope it will be something that I can bring back here to the United States and share with my students and others in order to engender a dialog on the lessons we can learn from one another across seemingly incomprehensible cultural barriers.
For more info please visit ghettobiennale.com
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