AS IF Gallery is proud to present the art works of the children's group, Ti Moun Rezistans, whose studio is at the Atis Rezistans art school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Complementing the children's work will be a small selection of Daniel Morel's iconic photographs of the children and their surroundings in the throws of the Haitian earthquake which took place in January, 2010. Also included is Les Indiens, a large-format photograph by Phyllis Galembo, depicting four children in contemporary ritual costumes from the Jacmel Carnival in Haiti in the decade before the island's devastation.
On January 12th, 2010, Daniel Morel was busy photographing the artwork of the children of the Atis Rezistans in the courtyard of their school in Port-au-Prince when the historic 7.0 earthquake struck. His pictures of the moments just before and after the devastation became the most widely distributed and iconic images of that disaster. But the passage of these photographs to global prominence was far from smooth. As powerful aftershocks rocked the city, Morel made his way along the shattered Grande Rue to the still standing Oloffson Hotel, photographing the wreckage and pandemonium that he witnessed en route. At the hotel Morel connected to the internet, created a web account, and directly uploaded his pictures to facilitate their instant dissemination to news media and wire services worldwide. Morel hoped to show the unimaginable scope of the destruction even as it was occurring, so that the task of organizing aid could begin without delay. His staggering pictures of flattened structures and shocked, dust-covered survivors appeared throughout the world within hours, and came to define the Haitian disaster as it was unfolding.
Daniel Morel, Ti Moun Rezistans at Atis Rezistans Art School, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 12, 2010, C-print
Ti Moun Rezistans is the name of a Haitian children's group in Port-au-Prince who study art with the more established members of the Atis Rezistans collective, also known as the Grand Rue Sculptors. Atis Rezistans was founded in 2000 by the artists Jean Hérard Celeur and André Eugène, and set up at the south end the Grande Rue, in a close-knit neighborhood where traditional handicraft workshops are hemmed in by car repair outfits, scrap metal dealers, and junkyards. Over the last decade the Grand Rue Sculptors have exhibited their work throughout the world to considerable acclaim. "Their powerful sculptural assemblages made from engine manifolds, TV sets, wheel hubcaps and discarded lumber have transformed the detritus of a failing economy into bold and radical sculpture. They reference a shared African/Haitian cultural heritage, a dystopian sci-fi view of the future and the transformative act of assemblage." (Atis-rezistance website) Ti Moun Rezistans was established to expand the horizons, powers of expression, and most importantly, the earning capacity of the impoverished children of Port-au-Prince. The children of Ti Moun have also exhibited their artworks widely and sell them directly through their own email addresses, websites and in person at the Atis Rezistans studio in Port-au-Prince.
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