Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale

Atis Rezistans (Resistance Artists) is a dynamic group of majority-class artists working in the Grand Rue neighborhood of downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

On the roof of a Haitian housing estate, a man sits on a large wooden chair surrounded by trees, forest in the background, and a crucified, suspended doll in the foreground.

Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale, The Big Chair by Joe Winter at 3rd Ghetto Bienale 2013, Port-au-Prince, photo: Multiversal Services / Lazaros

This is a shifting community made up of a number of experienced artists, primarily sculptors, and a range of younger emerging artists, who are working in sculpture and painting, but also, more recently, in photography, video, music, slam poetry, writing, and performance. In December 2009 Atis Rezistans hosted the 1st Ghetto Biennale, which was conceived and devised in 2008 by group member André Eugène and his partner, British artist and curator Leah Gordon. Atis Rezistans invited Haitian and international fine artists, filmmakers, academics, photographers, musicians, architects, and writers, via a global open call, to come to the Grand Rue area of Port-Au-Prince to make work or witness the event in their neighborhood and this event has taken place every two years since then.

Their participation in documenta fifteen includes multimedia sculpture, artist residencies, performances, screenings, and discussions. It features a series of sculptures in St. Kunigundis Church, and a structure designed by British architect, and former Ghetto Biennale participant, Vivian Chan in collaboration with André Eugène and Leah Gordon. The shape of the ceiling floating structure mirrors the geometry and cacophony of the streets in the neighborhood behind Grand Rue in Port-au-Prince, and is inspired by the visual representation of place and space in the work of Haitian painter Préfète Duffaut. A major sculpture of Papa Legba—a welcoming spirit—stands in the garden of the church, where recordings made during the Ghetto Biennale, at Radyo Shak, are broadcast. Haitian artists Michel Lafleur, Katelyne Alexis, and Harold Pierre Louis produced artworks during a residency in Kassel that are exhibited at the entrance of the church. Other featured works include a memorial tent created by André Eugène and Michel Lafleur, honoring the memory of the artists lost during the 2012 earthquake in Haiti. A series of film screenings feature the work of the Ghetto Biennale and work by collaborating artists. Similarly, a conference focusses on the historical context of Atis Rezistans and the Ghetto Biennale exploring the role of the Kreyol concept konbit (traditional form of collective labour), global class politics in art, the history of the Haitian revolution, and vodou.

Invited participants

Adriana Benjamin
Andre Eugene
Bastian Hagedorn
Camile Chedda
Carima Neusser
Catherina Barich
Demar Brackenridge
DualForces Los Angeles
Edouard Duval-Carrie
Elizabeth Woodroffe
Evel Romain
Henrike Naumann
Herold Pierre Louis
Jean Claude Saintilus

Jean Jonas Labaze
Jean Louis Huhta
Jean Muller Milord
Jean Robert Palenquet
Jerry Reginald Chery
John Cussans
Katelyn Alexis
Laura Heyman
Leah Gordon
Londel Innocent
Louis Kervans
Mario Pierre Louis

Martina Vanin
Michel Lafleur
Nanne Buurman
Patrick Elie
Pedro  Lasch
Roberto N Peyre
Sheldon Green
Simon Benjamin
Tom Bogaert
Vivian Chan
Wesner Bazile
Whit Forrester
Wilerme Tegenis

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Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale

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