In the image, in the picture. Before Cotonou arrived in Dakar, Contemporary Bénin was on the shore of the Ébrié lagoon, providing a power of attorney for former Dahomey contemporary artists.
If African contemporary art lovers are in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, they will be very lucky. From April 8th to May 9th, two special places, Donwahi Foundation and AMANI Gallery, held a traveling exhibition Contemporary Bénin, which is more than one hundred works-paintings, sculptures and photographs by 14 Benin artists. You must then fly to Cotonou before December 2021, and then fly to Dakar.
What drove contemporary Beninese artists to Abidjan?
The connoisseur, curator, and collector Idelphonse Affogbolo of Benin and West Africa’s reality began with the observation: “The vitality of the African art world is extremely lacking in visibility, promotion, prestige, circulation Sex and means”. It immediately demonstrated the ambition of “creating a strong synergy between artists and actors in the art world of West Africa.” For this businessman, “showing and sharing more than one hundred works of Beninese artists on the Ivorian stage is to promote this cultural integration, which should further consolidate our position beyond economic exchanges. And enter a diversified, powerful and important cultural field”.
Indeed, after many years of attracting collectors and fairs from Western countries, artists are rediscovering Africa. “Twenty years of contemporary Beninese artists have been honored at major contemporary art conferences: Documenta Kassel, Venice Biennale, Dakar, Bamako. The great Dominique Zinkpé is for his The enlightening animist culture has won many awards. “Especially me, I have worked with major African artists such as Bathélémy Toguo in Cameroon, Ndari Lô in Senegal, Bruly Bouabré and Jems Koko Bi in Côte d’Ivoire, to name a few The example emphasizes that artists take training the younger generation as their own responsibility. I think the earth is also periodic. Now is the time for Africa to shine through plastic arts. He pointed out that in the Nigeria subregion of Ghana, there is a lot of creativity emerging, while Senegal in Morocco does not.
In a two-sided exhibition, the issue of a meeting with Benin was raised. This kind of journey may confuse or even shake visitors who are used to achieving a certain unity between artists from the same country. In Benin, the situation is different. Creativity and freedom are characteristic of the artist’s work, because there is no art academy in the country. Due to its historical soil, rituals and traditions, a group of artists finally appeared, which can be traced back several generations. “I put my tradition in the crucible, and the door to the world opened. He said: “I invite other cultures to share my door. “
I hope to see the birth of “Global Civilization” at this donation conference, which is cherished by Léopold Sédar Senghor, 31-year-old Eliane Aïsso (Éliane Aïsso) ) Worked in the National Contemporary Art Studio. In Turkorn, France. “Six years of theoretical and practical research has opened up a path to different media for me. Painting, painting and textile art, and then photography enabled me to develop more modern technologies, installations and film research. “I can weave and connect with these technologies. , Mix them and get married,” explains a person who drew inspiration from her traditional Benin culture.
Sènami Donoumassou did not say anything when using photography techniques, “The animistic tradition practiced in Benin, my reflection and the way I deal with the subject have provided me great help. I sometimes use voodoo. Representative symbols or objects in culture to express oneself or to target specific themes,” she continued. And continue: “Some things can only be said with things at home and any artistic means used”.
In addition to this strong tradition, the subjects cherished by Benin’s contemporary people are as diverse as their materials. They have been paying attention to delicate social issues, women’s representatives, immigration, diseases, economic exchanges, etc. Thanks to the highly documented online documentation, there are rumors that the exhibition has achieved sales success among collectors and buyers. Next stop: Cotonou, then Dakar, “new participants in the contemporary art world of every city will hold new exhibitions”. Huge program!