about the exhibit

"In All My Dreams" is a collective, multivalent project situated at the intersections between literature, history, and visual art in the Caribbean. Contemporary Haitian artists Nathalie Jolivert, Tessa Mars, and Mafalda Mondestin offer up a visual dialogue with famed Haitian author René Depestre’s novel Hadriana In All My Dreams.

This dream began with Nathalie Jolivert’s architectural project, which envisioned the renovation of Jacmel, Haiti's beautiful Villa Hadriana, a centerpiece of Depestre’s novel. Through participation in "The Caribbean Digital" conference at the University of Virginia in December 2017, Jolivert learned about the "Visionary Aponte" exhibit, in which artists engaged with a historical archive. In conversation with Kaiama L. Glover, who at the time was completing her translation of Depestre’s Hadriana In All My Dreams, and Laurent Dubois, a utopian idea took shape: what if Jolivert, joined by other artists, created an exhibit inspired by and in response to the novel — and, in the process, proposed an arguably less common vision of what Haiti, its writers, and its artists offer on the global stage? Tessa Mars and Mafalda Mondestin were intrigued by the project as well, and a set of conversations began.

The ensuing dialogues between these artists and scholars inspired the creation of the In All My Dreams book club and visual installation, as new ways of bringing Depestre’s work into the world – the beginnings of a larger adventure and itinerary for these works and for the broader exploration of the Depestrean imaginary in all its forms.