Violence, trauma, and memory are fundamental factors of Caribbean modernity but have thus far been underexamined within art history and criticism. This essay explores the invisible yet palpable presence of violence in the genre of family portraiture and the contemporary redeployment of this genre in Edouard Duval-Carrié's Mardi Gras at Fort Dimanche (1992) and Ebony G. Patterson's Entourage (2010). As metapictures (following W. J. T. Mitchell), Duval-Carrié and Patterson's art detonate the expectation of stillness attached to genre. Instead, these works challenge, illuminate, and reform interdiscursive Caribbean epistemologies of violence, trauma, and memory that continue to reverberate across space and time.
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Erica Moiah James; Speaking in Tongues: Metapictures and the Discourse of Violence in Caribbean Art. Small Axe 1 March 2012; 16 (1 (37)): 119–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1548137
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