Let me tell you right off the bat exactly how much I know about voodoo. Absolutely nothing. And I guess in that respect I am like any other average white European guy in his fifties, so I’m not afraid to admit it. Still, you’re never too old to learn. And so, when I found out that those cute and shiny beaded art works by Haitian artist Myrlande Constant I admired at last year’s Venice Art Biennale were actually voodoo flags, my curiosity was piqued.
Sure, I could have taken some time to read the art labels when I was actually there. But I didn’t because I happened to be totally drawn in by the dizzying, glittery sensory overload that is Constant’s work. Besides, I had just arrived at the Venice Biennale and was still sweating like a pig from my trip on a cramped vaporetto waterbus. I did take photos of most works on display (art labels and all), however. And so, I figured I’d finally take some time to go through everything I saw last year and start sharing some of my personal favourites with you. Better later than never!
And what better way to start than with the work of an artist who opens up a whole new world you only vaguely knew existed? Looking back at Myrlande Constant’s work, I realise how little I know not just about Haiti and its drapo Vodou tradition, but also about the world outside Europe. I do a little Google Image search as I sip my morning coffee, ask ChatGPT to tell me more and watch a few videos on YouTube.
And then all of a sudden, time’s up, and I have to get ready for another day of work. I quickly think of a title for this blogpost, come up with Constant Craving (get it?) and I think to myself, now what did kd lang actually mean with that song? I do another Google search, find out the lyrics relate to Buddhism, and then poof I’m transported to a whole other continent yet again.