Artist: Paul Maheke
Exhibition title: OOLOI
Curated by: Céline Kopp and Marie de Gaulejac
Venue: Triangle France – Asterides, Marseille, France
Date: June 30 – September 29, 2019
Photography: Aurélien Mole / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Triangle France – Asterides
For his first solo exhibition in a French institution, Paul Maheke calls in OOLOI, a third gender figure from Xenogenesis, Octavia Butler’s sci-fi trilogy published in the late 1980s. This project is a new step in his ongoing research on representations of marginalized subjectivities in the Western imagination and on the possibility of considering history through a non-human or invisible subjectivity or corporeality. In recent years, Paul Maheke’s practice revolved around the emergence of colourful territories composed of apparitions and presences. As if to escape the regime of the visible and its categorizations, these presences manifest in multiple and elusive ways from within the fluidity of transitional spaces, in-between images, texts, and objects. Stepping away from the representational, occurrences fade in the light and evade through the sonic cracks of a reality projected by the artist as an emancipatory third space where representation or words cannot hold. A distant space and time which frequencies reach our bodies. And if a body is to appear, whether the artist himself or one of his collaborators, they host a multiplicity carved through improvised gestures.
Paul Maheke’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Galerie Sultana, Paris; Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art (2019); Kevin Space, Vienna; Chisenhale Gallery, London; and as part of the 6th edition of Les Ateliers de Rennes, Biennale d’Art Contemporain, at Galerie Art et Essai in Rennes (2018). It has been included in many collective projects, namely the 58th Venice Biennale; at the ICA Miami (2019); Block Universe, London, in collaboration with Melika Ngombe Kolongo alias Nkisi (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris as part of «Move» festival (2018); and Baltic Triennial 13, Tallinn (2018). Upcoming projects and performances include Performa 19 in New York in November 2019. He is also currently nominated for the 21th Prix Ricard.