Vladimir Cybil Charlier (b. 1967 Elmhurst, Queens) attended primary and secondary school in Haiti and spent her summers in New York City where she has been living since 1986. She received her BFA from Queens College in 1991and her MFA in 1993 from the School of Visual Arts. Prior to her 1997 residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem, she attends The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2003 she represents Haiti at the Bienal del Caribe in the Dominican Republic and the Cuenca Bienial in Ecuador. In 2006 she participates at the Venice Biennial. Aside from the US, she has shown her work in many Caribbean and Latin American venues as well as in Europe. Cybil currently resides in New York City, not too far from that old French house.
Vladimir Cybil Charlier • 08-80, Screen print, 2016
08-80, 2016 “Papa Loko ou se ven, pote’m ale; ou se papiyon wa pote nouvel by Agwe…” “Papa Loko, you are the wind, carry me; you are a butterfly and will bring news to Agwe…” (Traditional) A very large dark moth enters an old gingerbread house at dusk and lands near the ceiling. Long handled brooms are fetched to chase that “bad spirit” immediately from the house as, if they land upside down, bad news or death will sure follow…. From Mexico to the Caribbean and Latin America, a strong mythology follows the erebid moth ascalapha odorata. In Haiti, those “Papa Loko butterflies” are named after the powerful God of Healing of Dahomean and Taino origin. I’m told that they are sometimes killed with salt, and flipped over so that the numbers that are a sure win at the national lottery can be deciphered on their wings…
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