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Maksaens Denis | Haiti

Born in 1968, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
Lives and works in Dakar, Senegal
Sculpture, video, installation, performance

Graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de l’Audiovisuel (ESRA) of Paris, France (1992).

Maksaens Denis is artist in residence in several places : at the Donko Seko space in Bamako, Mali (2011) ; at the Institut Français de Brazzaville in Congo (2011) ; at the Greatmore Studios of Capetown in South Africa (2009) and at the Société des Arts Technologiques – SAT – in Montréal, Canada (2002).

In 2010, he is involved in the project _trans- realized in Madagascar, Haiti and Cameroun, under the aegis of Revue Noire & AfricAmericA.

In 2011 and 2012, he animates workshops of numeric creation in Port-au-Prince.

Maksaens Denis also realised E Pluribus Unum, a documentary on the sculptors of the Grand’Rue of Port-au-Prince, André Eugène and Jean Hérard Céleur (2002) ; L’Arbre de la Liberté on the question of religion (2004) and is often involved in multidisciplinary collaborative projects (dance, theatre, video…).

Individual shows by Maksaens Denis

In Situ (with Tiziana Manfredi) at the Institut Français du Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2013) ; Video Projects at the Galerie Le Manège  of the Institut Français de Dakar, Senegal (2011) ; Gcamagwini at the Greatmore Studios in Capetown, South Africa (2009) ; My Joshua Tree at the Antelope Valley College in California, USA (2007) and Kaocities at the SAT in Montréal, Canada (2002).

Collective exhibitions

In Extremis – Death and Life in 21st century Haitian art at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, USA (2012-2013) ; Haiti : Kingdom of this World at the 54th Venice Biennial, Italy – in Paris, France – Miami, USA and in Jacmel, Haiti (2011-2013) ; the 6th Forum Transculturel d’Art Contemporain of Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2011) ; 36 Seconds at the Fondation Blachère in Apt, France (2011) ; Sud Paris at the Revue Noire, Paris for the project _trans- (2010) ; Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, USA (2007-2008) ; Life, Petrol & Blood at the Centre Culturel Français in Karthoum, Soudan (2006) ; the fête de la sculpture of the Institut Français of Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2007) ; Latitudes – Terres de l’Atlantique at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France (2004) ; Sculpture Urbaine IV at the Central Bank of Barbados for the annual congress of the AICA (2003) and Sculpture Urbaine III at the Musée d’Art Haïtien (2002).


Maksaens Denis participated in the Happy Islands, Prome Encuentro Bienal Arte Contemporaneo di Caribe, first biennia of Aruba (2012) ; 11th Havana Biennial (2012) and in the 54th Venice Biennial, in 2011, with Haiti Kingdom of this world, in the first Haitian pavilion, as well as in the 51st Venice Biennial for La Trama e l’Ordito. In 2010, he is invited by the Biennale de l’Art Africain Dak’Art altogether with Mario Benjamin, Barbara Prézeau-Stephenson  and Jean Hérard Céleur. He was first known through the Festival Vues d’Afrique in Montréal within the framework of AfricAmérica@SAT (2002) – with Kaocities.

He was a part of the Landings projects – curated by Joan Durán – Landings 9 in Tai Pei, Taiwan (2008) and Landings 2 in Merida, Spain (2006).

Exclusive Interview with Maksaens Denis

Maksaens Denis answered to our questions in Havana during the 11th Biennial. The occasion to come back on how he started making art, to discover more on his artworks such as Vivi, the robot that can “slam”, or “Vie, pétrole et sang” (Life, petrol and blood), “My Joshua Tree” or “Kawotchou”. Maksaens Denis, “video-visual-artist”, explains how his artworks are a global object where video and way of presenting the video are mingled in one single and unseparable work. A wonderful exchange.

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