Hey everyone. I hope all is well with y’all as this new normal of COVID-19 is settling in. I don’t have too much news…still awaiting returning to China and still not sure I can be physically there by the fall semester. I have a few logistical things with my living situation in China that is causing some headaches but otherwise I am safe in the US. One small thing I am part of is this video project curated by Isaac Leung of Videotage in Hong Kong. My video is showing on Videotage’s website but it is also all over public screen in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal…so I guess if you happen to be in Lisbon, you might see my video at random street corners. I’ll post a link or two on instagram.
Anyway. For today, I am talking with Jean-Ulrick Désert, a conceptual and visual artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti before his family fled to the US. Originally trained as an architect from Cooper Union and Columbia, Jean-Ulrick got drawn to art and never looked back. He left his architecture job and traveled to France before ending up in Berlin, where he has been since 2002. He most recently represented Haiti at the 2019 Venice Biennale, although the project ran into a few roadblocks keeping it from being fully realized, which we discuss in our conversation. I met Jean-Ulrick through my good friend, Yvette Robertson, who I interviewed in Episode 31. Jean-Ulrich and I chat for quite a while in this episode, but Jean-Ulrick had so many gems that I kept most of it. Our conversation includes how language can reconfigure one’s brains, the function of art titles, and thinking about art as healing. I hope you enjoy it.