mon corps carcasse / se casse, casse, casse, casse / Mon corps canne à sucre, / flèche, flèche, flèche, flèche / mon corps banane est en larme, / larme, larme, larme / mon corps peau noir, / au couché du soleil, / ne trouve plus le sommeil / mon corps plantation poison / mon corps plantation poison / mon corps plantation / demande la rançon / La pluie n’est plus la pluie / la pluie goutte des aiguilles / la pluie n’est plus la pluie / la pluie goutte des aiguilles / la pluie pesticide / la pluie infanticide / mon père vivait près de la rivière / La rivière était à la lisière / du champ de banane pour panam / banane rouge poudrière / sous les Tropiques du cancer (…) Julien Creuzet’s animated video centres on the ongoing social and environmental effects of the Plantationocene in the Caribbean. Beginning with sugar cane and coffee fields, its colonial violences continue today among other legacies in the form of chlordecone pesticides used in plantations to combat the banana weevil in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Chlordecone was banned in France in 1990, but continued to be used in Martinique and Guadeloupe until 1993. The distance to the mainland was offered up as an excuse for the continued use of the contaminating substance, even though colonial intentionality has hardly ever been hindered by oceanic distances. Still today, almost three decades after the insecticide was banned, soil and ground water remain contaminated, affecting marine life and people’s health and livelihoods. In Creuzet’s animation, a computer-generated model of the chemical compound hovers menacingly over a beach, a rotten banana floats in the centre of the screen, shipping containers transporting fruits from the Caribbean to France tip over, to give way to a collapse of shapes and a swirling purgatory of references, accompanied by a stomping soundtrack by South African producer Mo Laudi.
Julien Creuzet was born in 1986 and is an artist living and working in Montreuil, France. Creuzet explores Caribbean and West African diasporic experience through works combining sculpture, video, poetry and music. His work is inspired by the reflections on creolization, migration and archipelagic thinking by Martinican poets Aimé Césaire and Édouard Glissant. In Creuzet’s practice, the geographical, political, poetic and theoretical space of the archipelago becomes a place where diverse cultural heritages and experiences affected by migration, imperialism and ecology meet, are negotiated, and shape human and nonhuman life. Creuzet’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Camden Art Centre, London; Document, Chicago; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Fondation Ricard, Paris and Bétonsalon, Paris, among others. Recent group exhibitions include Manifesta 13, Marseilles; WIELS, Brussels; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Gwangju Biennale; Biennale de Lyon; Biennale des Rencontres de Bamako, Mali and Contemporary African Art Biennale of Dakar among many others.