Gaëlle Choisne: We are all Negroes

Who are you ?

Gaëlle Choisne, born from a Britton father and a Haitian mother, I am the opposites, a contradiction.

Are you human ?


Do you believe in intuition ?

I only work with it. It is a form of resistance to an all-too rational world.

Gaëlle Choisne, Praise colonial detention, digitalized super 8 video, 4/3, 00’04’21, 2015. © Courtesy of the artist.

Are you optimistic ?

Optimism only belongs to those who were once pessimistic.

How would you describe the future ?

Look behind our back and be able to envision what lies before us.

Gaëlle Choisne, N.E.V.E.Q.N.A.L.A. (Nous étions les victimes alors que nous avions été les auteurs), installation, glass, metal, plaster, ceramics, silicon, bic pencil, golden chains, tatoos and mixed media, 16/9 video, 00’08’35, digital, coulor, 2016. © Courtesy of the artist & Galerie UNTILTHEN. 

Do magic and technology oppose ?

Technology is very useful to magic

What are the difference(s) between dreams, desires and projections ?

There are no differences, the common denominator is love. That is what happen when you make art, a rush love and intuition.

 “Negro-bird”, detail from  N.E.V.E.Q.N.A.L.A. (Nous étions les victimes alors que nous avions été les auteurs)installation, glass, metal, plaster, ceramics, silicon, bic pencil, golden chains, tattoos and mixed media, 16/9 video, 00’08’35, digital, coulor, 2016. © Courtesy of the artist & Galerie UNTILTHEN. 

What does « fantasy » mean ?

Fantasy acts as a surrogate for action, memory and anxiety. It is a process that fills an unfamiliar and unidentified space.

Do you feel like a stranger ? If yes, to what ?

To the universe ? I am one of its components just like any of us, if we want to be.

Gaëlle Choisne, Steles (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), 39,7×125 cm, concrete, printing, 2013-2014. © Courtesy of the artist & Galerie UNTILTHEN.

What does « blackness » mean ? What about « afroness » ?

« We are all Negroes ». Globalisation has absorbed us, turned us into slaves to standardization. Globality awaits us.

Exhibition view from « Pop Up » , Tour Panorama (Friche Belle de Mai), Marseille, April – July 2014. Gaëlle Choisne, Cric Crac (Ensemble), plaster, metal, concrete, wax, palm tree leaves,  Barbancourt bottle, Astérides production. © Courtesy of JCLett.

What is Africa ?

A western fantasy for some, the origin of the world for others, Africa has become a concept. A state of being and of mind.

Has Africa anything to learn from / teach to the world ?

Let it speak !

Gaëlle Choisne, When I will be dead, screenshot of a super 8 video, color, 00’02’56, 4/3, aluminium plate, 2016. © Courtesy of the artist & Galerie UNTILTHEN.

What is its future ?


What is afrofuturism ?

Mysticism, imagination, technology, Liberation, Black cultures but I would love to turn that into mixed cultures.

Gaëlle Choisne, Conquest and carnival, wax, coarse salt, pigments, polystyrene, 2015. © Courtesy Frédéric Jaulmens, Montpellier Agglomération.

Do you consider yourself an afrofuturist ?

I don’t really like labels, but I really like the idea.

What was the last thing you learned ?

To continuously unlearn.

Exhibition view from Rendez-Vous / Biennale de Lyon, IAC, 2015. Gaëlle Choisne, The survival of taste, diverse dimensions, wax, coarse salt, lead, metal, plaster, glass, pigments, wood, 2015. © Courtesy of the artist & Emile Ouroumov.

Where were you on Friday April 20, 2063 ?

I was discussing with Pier Paolo Pasolini about his film Notes Towards an African Orestes.

A soundtrack ?

Describe the end of the world.

Oceans will merge with volcanos’ lava.

What if you had to start over ?

From scratch ? That would be too much work… No, no, I’d rather keep going on.

Gaëlle Choisne, Crocodile hunters112 x 84 cm, installation, video screening on sculpture and «camouflage plants». Video found footage of a super 8 film Crocodile Hunters 6’44’00, 16 / 9, cire, sel, végétation artificielle, 2013. © Courtesy of the artist.

One last comment ?

« Africa I have kept your memory Africa

You are inside me

Like the splinter inside a wound

Like the tutelary fetish at the center of the village

Turn me into the rock of your slingshot

Turn my mouth into the lips of your cut

Turn my knee into the broken columns that debased you


I solely want to be part of your race

peasants workers of all countries

what keep us apart

the climates space stretch

the oceans

A bit of foam on the sailing boats floating inside an indigo tub

A wash of clouds drying on the horizon

Here the thatch of a sullied marigot

There the Steppe cut by the iced blades

of the mountain pastures

daydream from a meadow rocked by poplars

the river’s necklace at the gorge of a hill

the pulsation of the factories pounding summers’ fever

other beaches other jungles

the assembly of mountains

filled by the sparrowhawks’ high mind

other villages

Is it the atmosphere the stretch the space,

That creates the clan the tribe the nation

The skin the race and the gods

Our relentless dissimilarity ? »

Except from Jacques Roumain’s Prelude to Ebony Wood, 1945.

Find out more about Gaëlle Choisne :

on her website or her gallery page.

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