Victor Anicet

Victor Anicet, Céramiste et artiste martiniquais:This internationally recognized ceramist, who studied in France, England and Germany as well as Martinique, gave this interview during a show of his work at the Université Antilles-Guyane in November, 2001. Anicet, a seeker of shadows, a restorer and rejuvenator of the past and a diligent scholar, creates works of art that bring objects and symbols from the culture of his Amerindian ancestors to life for the modern world. In the interview he speaks passionately about this quest, describes his extensive training in ceramics, and shows many of his sculptures and paintings. Among the topics he addresses are the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean islands, the vital heritage left behind by the Amerindians, the horrors of slavery, the multiple races that compose Caribbean society today and the richness of Caribbean culture. A recent inductee of the prestigious Académie Internationale de la Céramique and a celebrated citizen in his native village of Marigot, Anicet describes how his richly textured art includes both real and symbolic elements of African cloth, masks, slave irons, slave ships, East Indian trays, and Amerindian dogs. (See an excerpt from the DVD below.)

We are delighted to announce that Victor Anicet, Céramiste et artiste martiniquais, was screened at the Texas Black Film Festival 2009!

The film was also screened at the Black Images in the Media Symposium and Arts Festival, University of Houston, 2009.

DVD: Victor Anicet, Céramiste et artiste martiniquais
Details: Two versions on 1 DVD, in French subtitled with English and in French, 30 minutes each

To order the Anicet DVD, click on the “Add to Cart” button on the right side of this screen to start the ordering process in PayPal. Follow the PayPal instructions, including entering your shipping address zip code to include shipping and handling costs.

Excerpt: I created my works of art after studying certain writings, of Aimé Césaire, Ferrements, and also from my own research. Because the iron collars from slaves you see here in this series of my paintings were harsh and real instruments of torture, and yet they were designed by human beings! That means that the collars had a certain aesthetic form. Since the collars were fitted on to the human body, they could not help but assume shapes that are rather handsome. I emphasized that in my paintings along with the tremendous suffering the slaves endured. These events of the slave trade gave birth to all that happened and from them signs are born. We must give meaning to these different objects that have been used throughout our colonization, throughout our history. We must give meaning to everything that has happened. I always think of the human tragedy that took place under the sea. That’s why the color blue appears so often in my work. You also have the problem of scars, of all the scars that were found under the iron collars, and you find shapes in these scars.

Endorsements: “Ann Scarboro and her colleagues at Mosaic Media have done a magnificent job illuminating the art of the gifted Martinican Victor Anicet. This is truly American art its best — American in the broadest hemispheric sense as described by Herman Melville:

‘There is something in the contemplation of the mode in which America has been settled, that, in a noble breast, should forever extinguish the prejudices of national dislikes. Settled by the people of all nations, all nations may claim her for their own. You can not spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world …. No: our blood is as the flood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one. We are not a nation, so much as a world.’

Distilling and combining Amerindian, European, African, and East Indian symbols and cultural traditions and bathing all in the profound blue power of the Atlantic, Anicet restores the richness of the worlds we have lost and might still attain if we listen to this griot, who reveals with grace and beauty our hidden histories.”
Marcus Rediker, Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History, University of Pittsburgh

“Mosaic Media’s documentary on internationally recognized ceramicist Victor Anicet is a rich introduction to a captivating figure of Martinique’s artistic and cultural world. Taking its cue from the varied influences on Anicet’s work, the documentary is divided into chapters that offer concise, illuminating glimpses into Martinique’s complex history, its geography, and its cultural scene. It is certain to appeal to viewers interested in this important artist as well as to those in the field of ceramics or Caribbean studies.”
Giulia Bernardini, MA, Instructor of Art History and Art Lecturer, University of Colorado at Boulder

“Victor Anicet, C�ramiste et artiste martiniquais” is an impressive contribution to the history of African culture. Texas Black Film Festival was very much enriched by the inclusion of this wonderful film. Ann Armstrong Scarboro and Susan Wilcox have produced a film of such insight and intellect that it is a “must” for African-American educational purposes. Kudos!
David A. Small, Festival Director, Texas Black Film Festival


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