previous GB archives   :    
  call for proposal   participant proposals > final project archives
  related events   biennale schedule   press coverage
  resources   sponsors   the blog



Floris Schonfeld


“Discours du Fou”

The project “Discours du Fou” took place during the 2nd annual Ghetto Biennale, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. For the project Floris Schönfeld attempted to hold a series of conversations with the Vodou spirits, or ‘Lwa’ as they are known in Haiti. The topic of these conversations was faith and the act of believing itself.

During the Biennale two small private and one larger public vodou ‘seremoni’ (ceremonies) where held at the ‘Hounfour’ (temple) of ougan Papada in the Grande Rue area. During these ‘seremoni’ Floris had the chance to speak to a number of ‘Lwa’ including the guest of honor at the larger public ‘seremoni,’ Erzuilie Dantor. These conversations where documented on video and 16-mm film and this material forms the basis for an installation and a filmic essay that explore the act of believing. A short cut of the film was shown at the outdoor screening event held during the Biennale. Both the film and the installation will be shown in San Francisco in May of this year.

Reflecting on the experience of the project and the interaction with the spirits the project was an interesting failure. The discussion did not yield the infinite wisdom that Floris was after. It did however challenge the boundaries of Floris's own belief system and force him to see that answers are sometimes best stumbled on by oneself. Thus the “Fou” in “Discours de Fou” refers not to the spirits or their mediums but the fool's errand that artist Floris Schönfeld embarked on in the project.

As Maya Deren writes in her introduction to “Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti,”

“I had begun as an artist, as one who would manipulate the elements of a reality into a work of art in the image of my creative integrity; I end by recording, as humbly and accurately as I can, the logics of a reality which had forced me to recognize its integrity, and to abandon my manipulations.”

concept and execution: Floris Schönfeld
in collaboration with: ougan Papada
camera: John Treffer
translator and line producer: Casseus Junior

with the participation of: ougan Jorel, ougan Rodeney, manbo Lossita, manbo Minouche, manbo Solange, ougan Pouchon, ougan Sony, manbo Denise, manbo Pretta, monbo Ketty, monbo Immacula, manbo Lenaise

project advisor: Maria van Daalen

This project was made possible by: Stroom Den Haag, The Mondriaan Fonds, California College of the Arts and Kickstarter donors





[back to top]


Enquiries & questions contact: Leah Gordon at:




A*BOUT A BOOK: Silke Bauer, Irina Novarese & Viola Thiele

Allison Rowe

Anderson Family: Peter Anderson, Clare Cameron, Esme Anderson & Mary Anderson

Anna Bruisma

Candice Lin, Phillip Mayles & Racine Polycarpe

Cary Cronenwett

Cat Barich

Charlotte Hammond

Crystal Nelson

Erin Durban & Shannon Randall

Floris Schonfeld

Frau Fiber & Jonas Labaze

Fungus Collective

Ghetto Architects: Vivian Chan, Maccha Kasparian, Yuk Yee Phang

Gina Cunningham &
Emmy Cunningham

Jakmel Eksperyans:
Ivy McClelland

Jana Braziel

Jason Metcalf

John Cussans & Alex Louis

Jurate Jarulyte

Karen Miranda Augustine & Ketty Paul

Kendra Frorup

Kwynne Johnson & Paul Klein

Laura Hayman

Liz Woodroffe

Maureen Tovey & Arcade Fire

Militza Jean-Felix

Michael Massenburg

Natalia Matta

OKIPASYON: Joyce Ip, Jason Metcalf & Roberto Peyre

Pascal Giacomini

Piroska É Kiss

Rebecca Dirksen

Robert Gomez &
Romel Jean Pierre

Sarah Delaney

Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko

Schallum Pierre

Toni Sanon

Tracey Moberly


Enquiries and questions contact
Leah Gordon at: