59th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
april 23 to nov 27 2022
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Henri Koffissé N’koumo, Massimo Scaringella, Alessandro Romanini
- ABOUDIA and african social realities in a changing world.
The artist describes an African society in crisis and marked by the fragments of a torn social fabric, yet one in which young people provide new lifeblood and hope for the future. Above all, Aboudia seeks to offer a constructive message to the new generations, through the teaching and precepts of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, with whom he collaborated during a creative residency.
From the artist’s most recent startlingly sharp images composed of contrasting faces, erotic nuances and glued newspaper clippings, a new palimpsest emerges evoking urban life in the West African city.
Cars and skyscrapers, working TVs, glued photos of traditional African sculptures and written phrases resembling street art bring to life a complex visual symphony whose rhythm is the rhythm of urban contemporary life. A symphony that is the very core of street culture. The rich synthesis of diverse painting traditions – from North American pop to abstract expressionism – is conveniently combined with graffiti to create wall canvases that fervently demand the viewer’s attention.
- Armand BOUA and Africa’s street children.
The artist portrays the human condition as a response to the inhumanity that dominates in the world around him. His recent works, displaying the shapeless figures of forgotten children, testify to
the violence that continues to characterise Africa’s political and social struggles. His aesthetics stem from a deep commitment to the materials found, to which the artist applies his distinctive shapes that evoke images and scenes from his personal and collective memory. Based in Abidjan, the nation’s economic capital at the crossroads of urbanisation and industrialisation, Boua experiences the Ivorian landscape with a more pronounced sensitivity. His observations on children draw inspiration, for the most part, from street scenes in which urban migrations create a tangle of ethnic, linguistic, cultural and social threads that have enriched and equally complicated the region’s problems.
- Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE‘, is one of the founding fathers of contemporary African art.
His creations represent religion and philosophy, tradition and legends with his “Connaissance du Monde”. At each step, the author documents and archives his encyclopaedic knowledge with symbolic images framed by an explanatory text. A work with a strong educational and didactic vocation aimed at young people and at the less-well-off classes. Bouabré is also the inventor of an alphabet consisting of 448 monosyllabic pictograms that mix African and world cultures. A work conceived with the desire to create a universal language which, rooted in the Beté tradition, would militate for universal brotherhood and world peace.
- Aron DEMETZ and the transformation of matter.
The artist focuses his research on the transformation of organic and inorganic matter over time, on the one hand, and on the way it interacts with human action, on the other.
Starting from his extensive experience in traditional woodcarving techniques, Demetz expands on tradition, exploring materials such as wood, plaster and bronze. Interested in sculpture as an epistemological tool and having paid particular attention, for many years, to non-Western plastic forms, in particular African ones, the artist explores the world through a parallel sculptural universe inhabited by fictional creatures and mysterious forms. Through combustion, oxidation and fungal growth, Demetz embarks on a trial and error process open to the mutations of matter, in a direct game with traditional Ivorian and African sculptures.
- Laetitia KY and the capillary metamorphosis.
A multitalented artist who denounces her artistic journey through the metamorphoses of bodies and the definitions of the contemporary human condition. Her unique sculptures, created using her Afro hair – mediated through photography and videos – celebrate the artist’s roots exploring themes that are often delicate and uncomfortable. Her creations represent a powerful communication tool conceived to raise awareness on issues of race, gender and social justice, adapting elements from Ivorian customs and folklore. Elements of national identity, reinterpreted in a contemporary key.
- YEANZI e and the art of recycling.
Today, the contemporary artist explores unique techniques consisting of fusing plastic materials collected from the waste scattered on the streets of Abidjan, on paper or canvas.
Through this deliberate use of waste and discarded items, the artist uncovers the incomparable beauty and aesthetics of the individual, thus questioning the mountains of waste suffocating today’s contemporary societies. Thanks to this particular technique, Yeanzi’s work emerges as a pillar of the arts, above all in the figurative landscape.
Yeanzi reinterprets the biographical themes, the narrative and the recent history of his country, drawing upon his philosophical knowledge. The artist’s talent thus provides these themes with an important universal dimension. Thanks to his articulated and profound culture, Yeanzi develops an iconography capable of transforming the experiences of his country – the purely artistic and cultural Ivorian ones – into a powerful expressive form for the future. Moreover, in light of his teachings at the National School of Fine Arts in Abidjan, the artist pays great attention to the didactic dimension.

Armand Boua
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré
Laetitia Ky
Lis10 Gallery
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