Aleksandra Mir

Hell in Paradise

MARTINIQUE—This was a state of mind and a way of being that my friend Sarah Gavlak and I adopted for our ten-day stay on the island of Martinique in September 2004. We were invited here by Frederic Guilbaud, a passionate art collector who offers artists a productive vacation, creating the best possible conditions for us to see a lot, relax, play, talk and absorb, with the hope we will bring his native island into our art and further out to the world

Being my first ever visit to the Caribbean, I initially had my suspicions about this ‘Paradise’. What else could it offer a holidaymaker with little serious intent or time than a blueprint of my own fantasies about it? What relief, if not a harsh spotlight on the daily grind we were in fact leaving back home? And, if it was to be as fantastic as promised, a true ‘Paradise on Earth’, well, then, I assumed, we must already be dead on arrival and I decided we had to go as angels