At a time when the small republic of Haiti, independent since 1804, was described only through the prism of tragedy, photographer Paolo Woods was looking for something else: how a national identity can be forged in spite of the State. STATE shows Haiti like never before. While not ignoring the huge difficulties of a land where two thirds of the inhabitants don’t have enough to eat, the project tells how a country presented as “cursed” is, above all, a place where resistance, humor, creation and culture live side by side; how the idea of a nation articulates itself around an absent State; how Haiti concentrates all the issues of a Southern nation submitted to the winds of globalization that the combined efforts of the international community are not capable of addressing. —Courtesy INSTITUTE
STATE is currently on display at Photoville in Brooklyn, and Woods will be in conversation with Fred Ritchin discussing STATE Sunday, September 29 at the Photoville Talk Area at 5:10pm. Woods and two other INSTITUTE artists, Elinor Carucci and Wayne Lawrence, will discuss their projects on Friday, September 27 at the Photoville Beergarden at 7pm. STATE is also currently on view at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland through May 1, 2014 and a book by the same name is also available.