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MARIELLE PLAISIR: The unbearable lightness of being

Read a review written by Carmen Smith for Marielle Plaisir's exhibition and talk


Click Here to view Opening Reception Images

The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is pleased to present a new series of work by Marielle Plaisir. The new multi-media works are comprised of digital prints on archival paper, fabric, and embroidered beads. These elaborate works reveal hyper-realistic animals within the lush flora and fauna of the Caribbean landscape.

The new multi-media works Plaisir is developing enhances her ideas of utopia but also brings the audience a timely form of happiness and peace. The artist writes:

“Terra Incognita is over. The world has been explored up and down and sideways. It doesn’t have to be explored anymore. This is what we believe when until now, history has only been that of discoverers and discoveries, of colonizers and colonized, of the dominant and the dominated, of the rooted and the uprooted. For my part, I suggest - echoing the words of Edouard Glissant - that this part of the world that we have left to live in should be the 'Tout-Monde,' bearer of a new ideal, a new region of the world, which is not reached at the end of an expedition or a delocalization, but by an approach where geography, history, politics, philosophy, poetry, and utopia intersect.
Imagine being completely overwhelmed by an enchanted universe with a breathtaking landscape in which imaginary iconographies appear. An unlikely place that does not exist in any region of the world.”

Plaisir is a French-Caribbean artist who combines painting, drawing, monumental installations, and performance to present highly intense visual experiences. Her work can be both poetic and socially meaningful as she blends life and fiction in both personal and historical narratives from the Caribbean. Universal themes of power, domination, and prejudice are intertwined with humor and beauty to convey humanity in our contemporary times.


Since 2002, Plaisir has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA.In 2021, Plaisir was the winner of the Southern Prize States Fellowship and a recipient of the Florida Prize at the Orlando Museum of Art. She was a recent resident at the Anderson Ranch Art Center, Colorado, and Oolite Arts, Miami Beach.

Tosha Grantham’s practice includes advising artists, private collectors, arts organizations, and more recent cross-pollinations in the fields of tech-sector innovations and environmental concerns. Grantham was Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA, 2000–2006). She guest curated Darkroom: Photography and New Media from South Africa since 1950 (VMFA and Birmingham Museum of Art, 2010–2011) and co-edited the catalog (UVA Press, 2009). For Darkroom, Grantham and VMFA received grants from the Horace Goldsmith Foundation (2004), the National Endowment for the Arts (2006), and the Andy Warhol Foundation (2006). As curator of Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, 2013–2017), Grantham received an Andy Warhol Foundation grant for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons. There, she curated Taliaferro Logan: Latitudes and Longitudes; Arturo Lindsay: Portraits of Yemaya; Yeni Mao: The Conqueror; Edward Thomas: Praxinoscopes; Amy Sherald: Off the Chain—American Art Unfettered; Siemon Allen: Labels; Torkwase Dyson: Mine Mind; John Trevino: Sunken City; Sonya Clark: Bitter, Sweet, and Tender; Matt Shelton/Nikolai Mahesh Noel: contested bodies; and José Bedia: Memoria y Creencias Culturales, among others. In 2017 she curated Sam Gilliam and Lou Stovall: In the Spirit of Collaboration and Romare Bearden Mature Works Selected Prints and Posters (Griots Gallery, Miami, 2018) and was coordinating curator for Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom (Little Haiti Cultural Center Art Gallery, Miami, 2018) and crossed kalunga by the stars & other acts of resistance (The Gregg Museum of Art and Design, NC State University, Raleigh, 2021-22).

photo credit for Tosha Grantham: Carles Eitzen

MARIELLE PLAISIR: The unbearable lightness of being is made possible by an Artist Innovation Grant from the Broward County Cultural Division with support from the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, Louis and Rudi Dill Charitable Fund, and the Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.

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