Contemporary Art: “Enough” is an eight-semester artistic journey in Paris
Aesthetic change, abundance of proposals and multiplicity of spaces. about 500 m2, Gallery 193 and the exhibition of Karol Kwasniewski, in Paris, “We are enough”, a journey in eight chapters that brings together the creativity of eleven artists. The exhibition explores African societies and their diaspora. As a call to dismantle prejudices.
“Because black people deserve all over the world despite the weight of history, points out Roger Niigina Carrera, event curator and co-founder of Afirika Artfest. But it must be borne in mind that African countries still face many economic difficulties. There is a long way to go and the solution will come from us, the blacks, in collaboration with the rest of the world. »
Like a beautiful book we flip through its pages.
To address such a broad topic, it was necessary to work on a narrative that was easy for visitors to understand, “Like a beautiful book one reads its pages, with clear transitions, visually and emotionally, without any chronological order or imposed importance.”says coordinator.
Each artist must respond to a specific statement that fits with the overall message. The first chapter, “Consciousness,” represents the works of Joanna Choumali and Modo Dieng Yassin. Originally from Abidjan, in Cote d’IvoireThe first to study graphic arts in Casablanca. His paintings depict a dreamlike world, as if to ward off the violence of the world.
Graduated from Fine Arts in Dakar and San Francisco Art Institute, the second was born in Saint Louis, ON Senegalpresents a series dedicated to skirmishes, in particular the combination of black and white photographs and acrylic paints, “A way to reclaim my African identity, to recreate a language and a positive vision of the history of the black man, slave or soldier, immigrant or marginal.”
The chapter “Multiple Identities” highlights the photographer’s work South Africa Zanele Muholi, currently on display at the European House of Photography (MEP), in Paris, through May 21. His business, as he put it, is a business visual activity It aims to give visibility, which is almost non-existent today, to black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gay, and bisexual people.
Thanks to Self-Acceptance, Thandiwe Moreo and Evans Mbuga, both of whom were born in Nairobi, Kenya, defends the strength of the evidence: No one chooses the color or origin of their skin. The first presents feminine photographs imbued with exotic colors and textures. ” Eyeglasses “, within trompe-l’oeil. the second honors his contemporaries, for whom he paints delightful pictures in vivid colors, “By collecting the moments lived with family or friends using the camera. Then I document these memories in my studio by painting on the plexiglass, by weaving the tapestry.”
With April Bey, from the Bahamas, we enter a futuristic African world for the “We Are Who We Are” chapter. He works with generous proportions at times combining American and Bahamian visual culture with contemporary pop culture, full of color and textures. A fantasy world in which anything seems possible.
A reflection of a shared colonial history
In the “Renaissance” phase, Mudu Deng Yassin and Willow Evan stress the importance of acknowledging the past in order to better understand the future. Originally from Ivory Coast and living in Ile-de-France, the second is a visual artist, dancer and photographer. His works—two groups of several squares of wood partially printed with portraits of black people—reflect a shared, colonial, African, and French history: “My origins, my identity and my journey as a black man from the Ivorian diaspora are recurring themes in my work. I am very attached to the organic aspect, to dealing with living materials such as wood.”
The last three chapters complete the journey. Dreams with Nigerian Ken Nwadeugbo offers an idealistic vision of migration or even exile. The young subject wonders about ways to represent blacks through interesting installations. And as a nice start to the score, “Safe Place” offers highly expressive works by Ivorian Cedric Chenan and those with seemingly simplistic visual language by Nigerian Abe Ogunlende.
The final stage, “Loneliness and Pride,” features paintings by Alexis Peskin. Born in 1979 in Paris into a family of Russian and Afro-Brazilian descent, the artist creates large portraits of people from the African diaspora. Using a very special technique: nails of different sizes are driven with extreme precision into wood stained with coffee, earth or bissap, and by applying gold leaf to the heads of these nails, stunning composite images are created. “I choose people whose physical envelope inspires positive things in me. I photograph them and reframe their images until they become entities. I convert the image into dots as in screen printing and replace these dots with eight types of nails.”says Alexis Peskin.
For Cesare Levi, founder and director of Gallery 193, this exhibition allows “Providing a variety of mediums – painting, photography, tapestry, wood carving, colored cardboard … – and sensibilities to show the richness of African scenes, some of which are still undervalued, by constantly renewing our proposal. The exhibition aims to fight against prejudices, and to discover emerging artists Renew and dismantle many preconceived notions ». With We Are Enough, the goal seems to have been achieved.
“we are enough”, Curator Roger Niegina Carrera, at Gallery 193 (21 and 24, avenue Béranger, 75003 Paris) and at Gallery Carole Kvasnevski (39, avenue Dautancourt, 75017 Paris), until May 27.