Vessel for Haiti III (2011), a site-responsive performance on a lightship moored in the Hudson River, is impelled by Edwidge Danticat’s text A Year and a Day, published in The New Yorker, January 17, 2011, one year after the quake. Here, the Haitian author invokes Vodou traditional belief that souls of the dead dwell under the water for the duration referenced in the essay’s title, after which time they are ritually reborn into the community of the living. The performative actions in Vessel for Haiti III are imbued with the hope emanating from this transformation. Audience participants took part in the ritual construction and launch of a ceremonial raft filled with offerings of chrysanthemums, bound with the names of Haitians taken from 112Haiti.com|Digital Memorial Wall to honor the spiritual passage of those who perished, named and unnamed. We also pay tribute to Agwé, Vodou spirit of the sea – believed to transport the souls of the dead under the water where their ancestors dwell.
Vessel for Haiti III (2011) Mobius event at New York City’s Fountain Art Fair, sponsored by Grace Exhibition Space | Performers: Catherine Tutter and Anna Wexler | Photos: Bob Raymond