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© charo oquet 2011

 

For over 30 years, I have developed an art practice, which addresses multidimensional aspects of cultural identity and post-colonial legacy. My research on Afro-Caribbean popular beliefs has led me to explore new forms of cultural practices, which articulate critically in different formats and situations. I analyze and aesthetically approach conflicts and resistances.  I make them relate to each other. My work enables dialogues to be expressed subjectively in relation to politics, religion. Problems of social inequalities serve me to make an intense reflection on the human condition in our world.


I am concerned with narratives of displacement and marginalization. In my installation and sculptural work, I seek to give dignity and place to "invisible people" who regularly do not appear in the official cultural institutions - men and women of rich ritual universes who dream and create possibilities of future and better days through singing, dancing and spirituality. To the canonical and institutional history of art, I also open the black universe of Afro-Caribbean cultures.


I define my cultural work as a social practice of collaboration. I try to rethink the political subjectivity outside the conventional framework of activation that is outside the purely commercial scheme. I aspire to build a wide and broad social organism, rich in colors and textures, as a good work of art. Involved people in my projects, I work with the humanities, with diverse people, with inner worlds that are in sync with change, respect, beauty and peace. I have done works with dancers, poets, producers, musician, curators and other artists, from my homeland and from the world.


My installations are made up of tweaked everyday objects from thrift shops and the overflowing surplus stores of the consumer world and culturally resonant materials to explore themes of ancestry, race, and memory. I transfigure these objects through appropriation and dislocation giving added value to these objects.


As an artist I am located between borders. My work also reflects the frontier as a possibility and geo-cultural category, I think Afro-Caribbean contemporaneously, not as a cold museum piece. The popular culture is in movement and the Afro-Caribbean is in essence permanent movement, sacred movement. In this transit of bodies and colors I am making references to different spiritual traditions such as Afro-Caribbean spirituals or Zen chants. I seek to evoke and meditate on forms that religious orders takes in order to celebrate the divine. The upper space of human existence


My work celebrates spirituality, loves cultural mix, rituals and sounds.


It extends to create a unique environment that blurs the line between art and object, the exotic and the banal, in an attempt to align the mind, body and spirit into a single space.


I want to infuse objects with the possibility of a new purpose. I want to evoke the possibility of the object having new energies, large or small, dark or light, opaque or bright.  Blessed or cursed an object of art can always have usefulness. It can possesses aura, its own light, circulate high and low energies. They can guide you real or fictionally, by a path that opens to the senses, the magic and music of wonderful villages, because more than objects, they are bridges of connection with the deeper meanings of new and old lives.



Charo Oquet - Inter-disciplinary Artist