Vicissitudes: NOT Sculptural Homage to Slaves of the Middle Passage

From the website of Jason DeCaire Taylor

Jason DeCaire Taylor, a British sculptor, creates beautiful and haunting life-size sculptures underwater in the oceans. These evolve to become reefs, many in places where the original reefs have suffered environmental degradation. His exhibits can be seen either by diving or glass-bottom boats, all over the world.

“Vicissitudes” is a large circle of figures shackled together and holding hands, off the coast of Grenada in the Caribbean.

Jason’s work has been widely MISINTERPRETED as paying hommage to the slaves who died and or were tossed to their death from slave ships durring the middle passage crossing from Africa to the Americas.

Contrary to popular opinion now spreading on the internet, it has more to do with environmentalism.

According to the artist’s site:


Vicissitudes depicts a circle of figures, all linked through holding hands. These are life-size casts taken from a group of children of diverse ethnic background. Circular in structure and located five meters below the surface, the work both withstands strong currents and replicates one of the primary geometric shapes, evoking ideas of unity and continuum.

The underwater environment is much like that of the outdoors. An object is subject to changes in light and prevailing weather conditions. The cement finish and chemical composition of Vicissitudes actively promotes the colonisation of coral and marine life. The figures are transformed over time by their environment, and conversely as this happens so they change the shape of their habitat. This natural process echoes the changes exacted through growing up. Social interchange shapes this process, while conversely as the product of a particular society we in turn invoke change on the workings and dynamics of that environment.”

This explanation makes sense given the meaning of the word below:

vicissitudesplural of vi·cis·si·tude (Noun)

  1. A change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.
  2. Alternation between opposite or contrasting things: “the vicissitude of the seasons”.
If it was about the middle passage, it will be one gripping work of art capturing one of the most saddest realities of human history but it is not and the rumor needs to be addressed. But with today’s technology where all sorts of information is quick to spread, such misinterpretations which play into human feelings can take a life of their own. 

disappointing.  would’ve been a supremely powerful piece.

*sighI oh well.

i like this one anyway, though.

and now someone ought to create one for the rumored purpose.

… oh…

Of course not.

Why would anyone build monuments about what happened to us.

That’s unfortunate.

Aww. :(

Well.. this is disappointing :/

(via scienceyeah)

Source: africlecticmagazine
  1. gennrenn reblogged this from dynastylnoire
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  3. isithotinhere reblogged this from meandrous and added:
    I’m an artist so, I’ll just say this: whatever the artist says is not as important as what the work means to you,...
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  6. bdrixhaettc reblogged this from meandrous and added:
    Probably. I did not mean to offend and I hope none took it like that. Art is one of the most subjective forms of...
  7. halobleeding reblogged this from meandrous and added:
    Of course they did. It’s to be expected.
  8. meandrous reblogged this from bdrixhaettc and added:
    I think you missed the point of what the other commenters are saying.
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    …guys, just because the meaning that the artist meant isn’t the meaning that you thought it was, that doesn’t mean it’s...
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