Là où est la mer… (Wherever the sea is…) at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain

Artist: Achille Adonon, Amina Agueznay, Clay Apenouvon, Imane Ayissi, Yancouba Badji, Alun Be, Soly Cissé, Beya Gilla Gacha, Willys Kezy, Ange Arthur Koua, Bunny Claude Massassa, Amébédé Mouleo, Ghizlane Sahli, Chéri Samba

Exhibition title: Là où est la mer… (Wherever the sea is…)

Venue: Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, France

Date: June 11 – September 11, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain

The theme of the sea is highlighted in the exhibition with the relationship of Humans with the Ocean, in West and Central Africa, encompassing fear and fascination. Fourteen artists from coastal countries of Africa tackle ecological questions such as ocean pollution, managing plastic waste and endangered biodiversity. Meanwhile others confront the topic of immigration, difficult living conditions on the continent of Africa and the need for some would-be exiles to make perilous crossings on dangerous craft, examined in particular in the testimony of one artist who has made this long journey.

In the waves there also reclines a goddess in the shape of a mermaid, the terrifying Mami Wata who seduces men to drag them deep under the waves, somewhat reminiscent of Princess Dahut in the Breton legend… Some artists have chosen to summon her up. Mami Wata may at times embody the strong, modern, and therefore disturbing woman of African societies. Finally, visitors will be plunged into the cultural and artistic traditions of Voodoo related to the cult of Mami Wata, very prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa.

This exhibition is part of the Africa Season 2020 held by the Institut Français, inviting the public to look at the world and understand it from an African point of view.

Soly Cissé, Série des Poissons , 2019 Courtesy galerie Marion Chauvy, Paris

Clay Apenouvon, Lignes de survie au large V, 2021

Ange Arthur Koua, Vagues, 2021

Imane Ayissi, Achille Adonon, Chéri Samba, 2021, Exhibition view

Amébédé Mouleo (Mamisi Walas) poteries cérémonielles du culte vaudou de Mami Wata, 2015-2019

Beya Gille Gacha, Lady Mirror, 2021 © photo : DR

Beya Gille Gacha, Lady Mirror, 2021 © photo : DR

Beya Gille Gacha, Lady Mirror, 2021 © photo : DR

Beya Gille Gacha, Lady Mirror, 2021 © photo : DR

Ghizlane Sahli, La Mer(e), Origine du Monde…, 2020

Alun Be, Out of water, Série EVOL, 2020 © photo : DR