Coffee and Conversation: Marielle Plaisir

Locust Projects presents ACTA EST FABULA (The piece is over), a site-specific multimedia installation by French-Caribbean artist Marielle Plaisir who is based in South Florida.

Coffee and Conversation: Marielle Plaisir
Life Style

ACTA EST FABULA (The piece is over) features a newly commissioned video in which the artist modifies, intersplices, and repurposes films starring actress, singer, and dancer, Dorothy Dandridge, from the 1940s and 50s as part of an immersive environment that explores representations of the black sexual body and the exoticism of opera in two works of mid-twentieth century cinema.

In the newly commissioned video work featured in the exhibition, Plaisir recontextualizes Dandridge’s iconic early roles in A Jig in the Jungle (1941) and Carmen Jones (1954) by isolating moments that depict problematic representations of blackness and domination in the films to confront examples of racial stereotyping.

Suspended in the space amidst the projected video, Plaisir has extracted ‘exotic’ clothing symbols from the two films to create new, experimental objects, using fabrics and embellishments to give them a fresh social dimension. Plaisir frees the garments from their supporting roles in enhancing the films’ stereotypes through her alterations and manipulations. Floating freely above the viewer, they are rid of their previous social connotations transformed into beautiful, celebratory monuments enveloped in lace and embroidery and illuminated by soft ethereal light. The new forms “flip the script” when shown in the context of segments from the original films, inviting visitors to question their perceptions of the black body and how they have been shaped over time through depictions in media and popular culture.