Performance, photography, sculpture, video, projection, ephemera, and travel
Pri Blan is a multi-media installation based on Neumann's experience volunteering in Leogane, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. She found herself pitted in many contradictions between culture, lifestyle, and daily integration challenges. This only made her full of questions upon leaving the island while still processing her intensive experience.
A couple weeks after being back in the states, she envisioned this installation where the sculpture deteriorates in the middle of the room throughout the exhibition. Simultaneously, the sculpture is being built upon as it is being destroyed in a performative action. Flanked on either side by a projected still image on a one minute loop, the Haitian landscape is only digital data with no paper trail left behind. After the exhibition, the only thing remaining are photographs and video documentation of this ephemeral exhibit.
Pri Blan is Haitian Creole for "Price of the White" or "White Prices."(1) In this immersible installation, Katrina Neumann explores concepts of chromophobia, the action of marking and deleting, and a travel memoir. Inspired by the German Romantic painters to the ephemeral experience, Neumann uses multi-media to explore new landscapes. _
Travel and research done in collaboration with All Hands Volunteer and the many inspirational people I met along the way
Includes a collaborative performance with Fabiola Menchelli and Katrina Neumann during the exhibition at Tufts University Gallery.
The project was funded in part by The Montague International Travel Grant and The Karsh Prize in Photography
(1) Thank you to Robinson Michelot, my wonderful friend, in assisting me with the accurate translation from English to Haitian Creole. (2) Thank you to my team Fabiola Menchelli, Kelli Sims, Claudia Batista, Connie Sawyer and Amanda Bonaiuto for assisting me with this project _
December 1 - December 18 Tufts University Art Gallery Aidekman Center for the Arts
Neumann's "Pri Blan" is perhaps the most prominent piece in the exhibit. The title of her exhibition is Haitian Creole for "Price of the White" and reflects its exploration of the concept of the travel memoir. "Pri Blan" uses mixed media, including projections of a tropical landscape on the gallery's walls and a large drywall cube in the center of the room. The walls of the cube are destroyed, with large holes poked through and rubble littered around the floor. Pieces of the damaged wall are screwed back on in no apparent order. The interior of the drywall cube has wallpaper of the same tropical landscape scene found on the walls.
"Pri Blan" is a striking study of how many relate to their travel experiences. Neumann describes her piece as a confrontation of "chromophobia," or fear of colors. It is as though travel experiences are placed in an unstable cube that does not reflect the true indigenous culture or identity of the destination. It is an and challenging piece to understand, making it all the more interesting and innovative.
The Tufts Daily, December 7, 2011, by William Owen