© 2016 Gilles Elie dit Cosaque
I am a conceptual artist photographer and a film director from Guadeloupe. I was awarded the Best Photographic Expression Prize at the Vera Festival in Moscow in 2016 and the Prize of the Caribbean Photographer in 2001. I also got a FEMI’s award for my film Pas in 2012. My artworks explore the imbalance at the heart of human life and more specifically memory, as much historical and family memory, as cognitive and allegorical memories. The image for me is a door leading to question the instability of our human condition in very different social and cultural environments.
Influenced by the human encounters I made as a sailor in the Mediterranean, in the Pacific and in the Caribbean Sea, my approach is also engaged in community development projects. I co-founded an orphanage in Haiti from 1997 to 1999 and I was the Director of the Maison de l’Architecture of Guadeloupe from 2005 to 2008. In 2015, I curated the permanent collection of the Memorial ACTe in Pointe à Pitre and set up the first Caribbean Festival of the Image.
Though my visual perspective is not purely autobiographic, I am clearly influenced by my complex, broken and recovered Caribbeanness while leaving in and out of the Caribbean. Behind my photographs, there is a philosophical quest for the universal enigmas of our nowadays, in a world where multiple and fragmented pasts challenge our power to imagine new possible futures. I would define myself as a hyper-contemporary visual artist with a strong historical awareness.