Kafu is an installation consisting of sculpture, mural, and performance. The sculpture is a handmade traditional Haitian beverage card for a drink called fresco. The performance is that of a fresco merchant that mans the cart in the heat of July. He uses the crossroads as a means of making a living, much like the artist might use a gallery.
The mural is a replica of many Claude Dambreville paintings depicting Haitian Market scenes. His style highlights black labor and unity through the use of silhouette, which down plays the agency of the individual voice. I hypothesize that his type of depiction in the Haitian Diaspora can read as disempowering for those that seek connection with Haitian culture but have developed a fierce American sense of individuality. My solution was to paint the mural in chalkboard paint, assign each figure a thought or speech bubble, and provide the audience with sticks of chalk to allow for expression.
Kafu is the Haitian Creole word for crossroads. The crossroads in Haitian culture has many meanings. The first is more literal, meaning the place where the individual comes in contact with their society. That might mean, socially, where the individual blends into the people at marketplace, creating the unity of the whole (the group is more important than the individual). This is an aesthetic that is pan-African and moves along post colonial slave/trade routes. It might mean economically, where the individual’s only opportunity to eat that day is defined by how hard the dig into the streets. This is particularly true for the masculine provider roles that are common in Haitian society. Religiously the crossroads is both a representation of the Christian Crusafix and the place where the sprits move to and from the spirit worlds in Vodoun.