KANAVAL by Leah Gordon

イギリス人フォトグラファーでありキュレーター、作家のリア・ゴードン(Leah Gordon)による作品集。作者は第54回ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレにおいてハイチ館のキュレーターを務めたほか、作品を通してカリブ海のプランテーション、大西洋横断奴隷貿易、囲い込み法(閉鎖行為)、英国の労働者階級の形成などに関する、絡み合い交差するその歴史を探求する。

本書は作者が1995年から続けてきたハイチ南部の港町ジャクメルで行われるマルディグラ(※註)の参加者、オーラル・ヒストリー(口述歴史)の記録である。ジャクメルで開催されるマルディグラは、アメリカ大陸で見られるような、スパンコールで覆われた衛生的でスポンサーのついているカーニバルとは一線を画し、神話や伝説、その国の歴史を演じ、壊す。即興の衣装とシュールな物語は、民族の記憶、政治風刺、個人による啓示を織り交ぜたブードゥー教の影響を受けている。作者は60年前に作られた中判二眼レフカメラ「Rolleicord」を使用し、モノクロのネガフィルムで記録。常に参加者の許可を取り、お金を支払い撮影していた。ストリートの騒々しさから離れ、スタジオ内の静謐な領域へと入ることで、撮り手と被写体との間に合意の上での関係性が生まれていた。このようにして生まれた時間と空間は、マルディグラの歴史的な物語の一面が浸透することを許容したと言えるだろう。

本書は2010年に刊行されたオリジナル版に、未公開の写真やオーラル・ヒストリー、エッセイなどを多数追加した増補版・第二版として刊行された。

※註 フランス系移民によってもたらされたヨーロッパの古い伝統「告解火曜日」。「肥沃な火曜日(ファット・チューズデー)、「シュローブ・チューズデイ」、「パンケーキ・ディ」とも呼ばれる。翌日の灰の水曜日から復活祭(イースター)までの40日間(四旬節)の間断食を行うが、その前にパーティー、カーニバルが開催される。ルイジアナ州ニューオリンズのマルディグラは世界の主要カーニバルにも数えられる。

Before Carnival, you never sleep, always dreaming of bringing pleasure, innovation and creation.
– Fanel Saint-Helere & Frantz Denoujou (Flanbo Mardi Gras troupe)

Leagues away from the sequinned, sanitised, corporate-sponsored carnivals found elsewhere in the Americas, the Madigra troupes of the Haitian port town of Jacmel enact and subvert myth, legends and the nation’s own histories, their improvisational costumes and surreal narratives a Vodou-charged blend of folk memory, political satire and personal revelation.

Here the Zèl Maturin, satin-clad devils in papier-mâché masks, hinged wooden wings clapping on their backs, do battle against Sen Michèl Arkanj and his army of pastors; further on the Chaloska in their cows’-tooth-adorned masks transform the feared early twentieth-century police chief Charles Oscar Étienne into a metaphor for the corrupting nature of absolute power.

At the crossroads the horned Lanse Kòd, their skin shining blacker than black with a mixture of cane syrup and charcoal, perform press-ups before running amok through the crowds. Meanwhile a trouser-clad donkey, led by the leaf-skirted Atibruno troupe, speaks into a mobile phone and eats fried plantain, to show the world that the peasants are as good as anyone, that all donkeys are important.

Here too are lone, idiosyncratic characters: Geralda, the single mother of a starving child, the mermaid-in-disguise Madanm Lasirèn, and Bounda pa Bounda, who plays out a Vodou vision revealed by a treetop-dwelling spirit.

Leah Gordon has been photographing Jacmel Carnival and recording oral histories with its participants since 1995. Her photographs in ‘Kanaval’ are stripped of kinesis and exuberance. She uses a sixty-year-old Rolleicord medium-format twin-lens-reflex camera, and shoots onto black and white negative film. The camera is mechanical, and once the film is loaded the shutter has to be physically cocked and the exposure set manually. She always asks permission and pays the participants for the chance to photograph them. A consensual reciprocity between the photographer and the sitter arises which leaves behind the commotion of the street and enters the more tranquil territory of a portrait studio. The time and space created allows for some of the historical narratives of the Madigra to seep through.

Leah Gordon (born Ellesmere Port, UK) is an artist, curator, and writer. Her work explores the intervolved and intersectional histories of the Caribbean plantation system, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Enclosure Acts and the creation of the British working-class. Her film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale and the National Portrait Gallery, UK. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was the co-curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, History & Art’ at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; and was co-curator of 'PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince' at Pioneer Works, NYC in 2018 and MOCA, Miami in 2019. In 2022 she will be exhibiting and curating at documenta fifteen, Kassel, and is directing a feature-length documentary on Jacmel Carnival for BBC’s Arena.

Here Press is delighted to republish Gordon’s Kanaval, eleven years after its first publication, in a revised and expanded second edition which includes many new photographs and oral histories.

by Leah Gordon

REGULAR PRICE $48.00

hardcover
152 pages
240 x 280 mm
black and white
limited edition of 1,500 copies
2021

SECOND EDITION

published by HERE PRESS