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Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol
courtesy of the artist
950 Rue du Square-Victoria, Montréal, QC H3C 6J7


Richard-Viktor Sainsily-Cayol is a multimedia visual artist and urban scenographer living in Guadeloupe. A graduate of the ENSBA (Beaux-Arts de Paris), and a former student of the ENSAD (Arts Déco de Paris), he studied photography at the American Parson’s School of Photography, and art history at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Since 1981, his work has traveled, notably to the Dominican Republic, (lVth Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2001 and 1st Triennial of the Caribbean in 2010), Cuba (XIIIth Biennial of Havana 2019), France (Espace Carpeaux 1992), Italy (XIth Biennial of Florence in 2017), Senegal (XIth Biennial of Dakar 2014) and Japan (Kobe 1985).

His work has been awarded with the “Innovation Prize” at the Triennial of Contemporary Art of the Caribbean (2010), and the “Installation Prize” at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy (2017).

Approach and works on display

The work of Richard-Viktor Sainsily-CAYOL thematizes the “colonial wound” perpetually latent in all Caribbean spaces. Emerging from indigenous referents and archives of collective memory, his work is based on a deconstructive poetics, standing against any univocal reading or homogenization of history. He assumes the self-fashioning of identities, forged over the centuries in displacements, asymmetrical transcultural tensions and exchanges. This is done in a process of hybridization that his video-paintings and installations recognize and validate. (JMNF).

Grands Crus 3.0

This installation speaks of the violence of experiences and the resilience of Afrodescendant and African identities. But it also speaks of the injustices of our contemporary consumerist landscape. Arranged in a triangular stack, wooden barrels symmetrically pierced with 180 brass spikes evoke, by its sado-masochistic aspect, the violence of the triangular trade and the slave trade.

From Europe, barrels used as ballast were loaded with trinkets and weapons and then bartered on the African continent for human goods. Finally, the slaves disembarked from the holds of the slave ships were replaced by the production of spices that were then sent back to Europe.

The installation thus engages us to pay attention to the base of our consumerist world and addresses how dehumanization, past and present, allows unjust exploitation. Grand cru 3.0, speaks to us about our current world and how humanity is affected by the transformation and the refinement of the products of consumption that make our Western lives so comfortable.

Works by the artist

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