Chaveli Sifre’s practice merges installations, scents, objects, paintings, interventions, and performative rituals enacted by people from her close personal life. Care, soft power, and ancestral Caribbean wisdom are used as starting points to offer a critical reflection on inherited colonial hierarchies through syncretic depictions that revert that which is considered holy, worthy, or significant. This multi-sensorial approach aims to highlight that emotions and knowledge are not mutually exclusive, while understanding their correlation as an active part of a decolonizing practice.

Through her scent-based works, Sifre brings smells of the Caribbean into the exhibition arena. Smells rising directly from folk medicine are a key element of her practice which explores access to health and its symbiotic relationship with religion in puertorican history.

“My practice has centered on rehabilitating our sense perception, approaching the senses as a political, cultural and personal arena that exposes us to multiple worlds and facilitates the process of dis-othering. Our heavily digitalized reality alienates us from direct, somatic experiences. Now, more than ever, art should pull us into a world that beckons all of our senses, that brings us into true contact with materials and ideas and with one another. By mindfully approaching these sensual encounters we rediscover dormant ways to to appreciate the world around us, generating spaces of kinship, collective reflection and new appreciations.” 

© Chaveli Sifre