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Triangle Trade: Camille Turner, Jérôme Havre, and Cauleen Smith

A short film that examines specific relationships between black identity, land, and belonging.

The puppets live on an archipelago of islands and resemble the collaborating artists who worked on the film.

At times, the rugged landscape of sand and rock isolates them. At other times, it offers them the possibility of transformation and greater connection.

As the figures move through their respective environments made of paper, fabric, and paint, they talk about specific relationships between black identity and belonging in contemporary society. Their reflections address both potential futures and alternate histories.

Turner’s performance art, Havre’s puppetry, and Smith’s filmmaking come together in an entrancing way. This 14-minute film presents an important conversation and vivid imagery that speaks to our current cultural climate marked by incidences of xenophobia and racism.

About the Artists

Camille Turner

Camille Turner is an explorer of race, space, home, and belonging. Born in Jamaica and based in Toronto for many years, she combines Afrofuturism and historical research in her interventions, installations, and public engagements that have been presented throughout Canada and internationally. Wanted, a collaboration with Camal Pirbhai, was presented most recently by the Art Gallery of Ontario and uses the trope of fashion to transform 18th-century newspaper posts by Canadian slave owners into contemporary fashion ads. Camille is the founder of Outerregion, an Afrofuturist performance group. She has lectured at various institutions such as University of Toronto, Algoma University, and Toronto School of Art. She is a graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design and York University’s Masters in Environmental Studies program where she is currently a PhD candidate.

Jérôme Havre

Jérôme Havre’s multidisciplinary art practice focuses on issues of identity, community, and territory, investigating the political and sociological processes of contemporary life as they relate to nationalism in France and Canada. He uses a variety of tools and methods to make tangible the conditions of identity within situations of social transformation. Havre completed his studies at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris). Since 2001, he has exhibited in Europe, Africa, and North America. Recent shows include Talking Back, Otherwise, Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto; Paradis: La fabrique de l’image, espace d’art contemporain 14°N 61°W, Martinique; Land Marks, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Ontario; Liminal (Necessity and accident), The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON; and Reiteration, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. He is currently based in Toronto.

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects on the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work within the discourse of mid-20th-century experimental film. She has had solo shows for her films and installations at The Kitchen (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Threewalls (Chicago). Smith is the recipient of several grants and awards including the Rockefeller Media Arts Award and the Chicago Expo Artadia Award. Smith was born in California and earned a BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith is currently a faculty member in the School of Art at the California Institute of Art.

Image credits: Camille Turner, Jérôme Havre, and Cauleen Smith, Triangle Trade, 2017, film still, HD video, 14 min, 31 sec, colour sound. Photo by Alyssa Bistonath.