Through the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami’s (MOCA) continued efforts to include diverse voices and perspectives, the Museum is offering a robust series of educational and public programming to commemorate Black History Month this February. Currently on view are MOCA’s newest exhibitions, Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè and Leah Gordon’s Kanaval.
On view through April 16, 2023, “Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè” is the largest solo presentation of Didier William’s career. Translated as “We’ve Left That All Behind,” the show presents an in-depth look at the Haitian-born, North Miami-raised artist’s career and memory among the very neighborhood where he once grew up.
In a blend of personal reflections, biographical anecdotes, and art historical moments, some of the works in the show recontextualize historical iconographies and ideas, stripping them of their “known” truths and transforming each into something entirely new. By doing so, William playfully and unapologetically reclaims autonomy over a fragmented record of history, engaging his personal connection to the complexity of immigrant narratives and queer identity to create opportunity for investigation and redemption.
Also on view through April 16, 2023, Kanaval is a survey by photographer, filmmaker, curator and writer Leah Gordon that documents 20 years of Carnival in Haiti. Curated by MOCA Curator Adeze Wilford, the exhibition consists of a series of black-and-white photographs taken on a mechanical medium format camera. The images are contextualized by a series of oral histories relayed by various troupe leaders, who also oversee the design of the costume and generate the narratives surrounding Carnival. Their stories reflect the wealth of invention, fable and self-generated mythology prevalent in much of Haitian culture. The photographs will be accompanied by a new feature-length documentary on the Carnival, providing a kinetic counterpoint to the portraits.
Photo: “Mosaic Pool, Miami,” 2021. Acrylic, collage, ink, wood carving on panel, 68 x 104 inches. Collection of Reginald and Aliya Browne