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Christian Vium's "Ephemeral Archipelago" Exhibition and Student Workshop at CMCArts

The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts) was thrilled to announce its recent exhibition, "Christian Vium: Ephemeral Archipelago," on view from February 17 to March 16. The opening reception, a unique opportunity for our community, took place on Saturday, February 17, from 4 – 8 pm, featuring an artist talk by Christian Vium from 5-6 pm, accompanied by live music and appetizers. Vium, CMCArts' visiting artist for February, brought his unique perspective and expertise to the vibrant art scene of St. Croix, engaging our community in a rich artistic dialogue.

Since 2018, Danish anthropologist and artist Christian Vium has been working closely with residents of St. Croix, delving into the intricate relationship between oral histories and vernacular archives. His exhibition, "Ephemeral Archipelago," explored the ongoing effects of the Danish colonial era on the island's daily life. Through various perspectives and voices, the exhibition positioned St. Croix as a cultural hub, with ephemerality as a central theme tied to remembrance, belonging, and identity. The exhibition encouraged reflection on our shared past, present, and future, aiming to create spaces for dialogue and companionship.

"Ephemeral Archipelago" was part of Vium's broader research project, "Reframing History," which investigated everyday life in areas formerly colonized by Denmark, including St. Croix, Ikerasak (Greenland), and Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar, India). Collaborating with residents, historians, archivists, researchers, curators, and librarians, the project aimed to critique historical archives and preserve unique vernacular archives and oral histories. By including diverse voices and images often omitted from official records, the project sought to promote more accountable and democratic approaches to knowledge generation and sharing.

A particularly special component of this exhibition was a workshop led by Vium, which engaged art students from the St. Croix Educational Complex High School. Organized by Jessica Parker White, the Education Coordinator at CMCArts, this workshop saw Vium collaborate with Ms. Danica David's Basic and Advanced Art classes and Mr. Shakir Smith's Graphic Design class.

During the workshop, students were captivated by Vium's presentation of his work, which sparked personal reflections and discussions and was inspired by the theme "My Story. My History." The students embarked on a profound journey of self-expression, crafting art pieces that wove their individual histories and stories into their creations. They were encouraged to bring photographs and personal mementos for their collages, adding a deeply personal dimension to their artwork.

This collaboration not only exposed the students to international art but also allowed them to contribute their unique stories and creativity to the exhibition. It was a transformative experience, offering them a platform to reflect on their identities and heritage through art, inspiring hope for the power of art education in our community.

The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts was delighted to present Christian Vium's "Ephemeral Archipelago" and join in this celebration of art, history, and personal narrative. Through this exhibition, the center not only hoped to foster a deeper understanding of our shared history but also to inspire meaningful conversations about our collective future, connecting our community through the power of art and history.


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