A new generation of young African artists will show their work, inspired by social media and global developments, they present vibrant images in which they depict the worlds they live in in meaningful symbolism.
Equilibre fragile is a carte blanche exhibition by Myriam Mihindou (Gabon, Fr). Participating artists are Boris Anje Tabufor (Cameroon), Pélagie Gbaguidi (Benin, Belgium), Ori Huchi Kozia (Republic of Congo), Miguel Marajo (Caribbean, Fr ), Alex Mawimbi (Kenia), Patsheli Kahambo Kitenge (DRC), Hervé Yamguen (Cameroon), Van Andrea (Republic of Congo), Myriam Mihindou (Gabon, FR).
"'Uit de beschutting van de droom dat we mensen zijn ondervragen we onvermoeibaar de stiltes van de Geschiedenis die haken als doornen in een hoekje van de geest. Passie geeft ons het lef om het leven te omarmen, tussen de sterren, opdat elke dag een fakkel is van verzet."'De l’enclos au rêve d’être des hommes nous interrogeons inlassablement les silences de l’Histoire fichés comme des épines dans un coin du cerveau. La passion nous offre l’audace d’embrasser la vie, entre les étoiles, pour que chaque jour soit un flambeau de la résistance."
“En février 2017 je rêvais que mon corps de sirène avait échoué au bord d’une eau salée. Ma queue était déchirée et ma voix me parlait : Lève-toi et marche.” “In februari 2017 droomde ik dat mijn sirene-lichaam was gestrand aan de rand van zout water. Mijn staart was afgescheurd en mijn stem zei: sta op en loop”.
Qu’en est-il de la vie sur terre, qu’en est-il du monde? Tout un réseau peut se tisser, un réseau d’énergies, de désirs, de compétences, d’intelligences. Hoe zit het met het leven op aarde , hoe zit het met de wereld? Een heel netwerk kan worden geweven, een netwerk van energien, verlangens, competenties, intelligenties. Kenneth white
FRAGILE BALANCE - Opening speech by Rob Perree
“I just realized that I was standing on the same spot 8 years ago, but then to open this gallery. It seems normal that I can still stand here after eight years, but it is not. African art may be on the rise internationally, in the Netherlands it makes more sense to talk about a faltering escalator. It does not really work out here, mainly because the big museums in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, but also Utrecht, they fail. They should give the stimulating push, but they are still stuck in the Western canon.
I was particularly curious about this exhibition, because it is put together by an artist, Myriam Mihindou.
I am convinced that the sensitivity and creativity of an artist leads to other, more surprising and more individual and unusual choices. Besides that, Myriam Mihindou will not be guided by commercial motives. For a long time she did not even want to sell her own work, I have read somewhere.
The title of the exhibition is Fragile Balance. This probably refers to the delicate themes that the artists present in their work.
The 2 big themes seem to be engagement and identity. The vulnerability is lurking in both themes.
Many people are addicted to their own desires. They are guided, or better, manipulated by the media, especially the technological media. These media make vulnerable, because they do damage the identity of people. They redeem originality for imitation. To put it in other words: These people buy their identity from others. Van Andrea + Boris Anje Tabufor deal with this issue in their work and they do so in the figurative language of the mass media.
Identity is also the main theme of the work of a number of other artists. However, their work has a different origin.
Pelagie Gbaguiditries to get rid of a colonial past by deconstructing stereotypes and stripping the history from prejudices and lies. She is looking for an honest identity in a different society. Miguel Marajo promotes cultural diversity, because he is convinced that pure identity does not exist. The diversity seems to materialize in his style: a mixture of abstraction, figuration and surrealism. Alex Mawimbi engages herself in her works on paper with ethnographic objects, in order to illustrate her hybrid identity.
Kahambo Kitenge Patshelishows his commitment, his engagement, by turning against armed conflicts and against the rulers and dictators who cause them. He does so in a clear, recognizable, Pop-Art-like style. He wants to be sure that his message gets across.
Because of the way most of us live, as if we are masters of the universe, we make the natural environment vulnerable. It must be protected. It needs a talisman to survive. Myriam Mihindou + Hervé Yanguem make this problem subject of the work they show in this exhibition.
Mihindou does so in abstracted, more conceptual images, Hervé in surrealistic, figurative images.
Ori Huchi Koziais more difficult to fit in . In his video, in fact a filmed performance, he gives a new version of a historical figure. By doing that, he distances himself from the past and confronts and challenges the population of Brazzaville with this adaptation. He makes himself vulnerable because he undermines the normality of daily life. For this video he has just won a prize.
Fragile Balanceis a varied exhibition that encourages reflection about actual and important themes. It is also an exhibition with artists who are not, or not very well known in the Netherlands, but who certainly deserve that reputation.
I would like to congratulate Myriam on this exhibition. I hope you will act as a curator more often. I thank the artists for the satisfaction and surprise that their work gave to me.”
- November 2017.
Article in DUIC, December 2017, Nr. 47 by Marcel Gieling - Click HERE to read the article on page 10.