The Agora is the preamble to the diversity and the exception of the biennial. Community of exchanges and projects, this exhibition gathers for this 5th edition objects-materials coming from a dozen craft workshops from North to South Africa, through West and Central Africa.
The embodiment of art crafts in perpetual movement, and of this edition of Révélations, the masterly sculpture of Zizipho Poswa (South Africa) from his Magodi series inaugurates an edition particularly sensitive to artistic and cultural heritage, to personal mythologies and their universal significance. Through its scope, its vibrant colors and its organic nature, Zizipho's work reminds us that Africa is an essential and living territory of creation, authentic and innovative, proud of its origins and open to the world.
The Samba Dancer series by ceramist Anne Adams (Nigeria), full of generous curves and balance, offers a completely new vision of ceramic practice, while Ngozi-Omeje Ezema (Nigeria) suspends time and image with her aerial constructions composed of ceramic modules. Talented sculptor and great colorist, Alimi Adewale (Nigeria) models his materials that become faces celebrating the singularity of the individual in the collective.
The designer and cabinetmaker Jean Servais Somian (Ivory Coast) presents a set of furniture in lacquered coconut revealed by a bright palette of primary colors. Balla Niang (Senegal) entrusts an exceptional armchair whose delicate ebony frame dialogues with a leather deliberately left raw. Balla Sidibé (Senegal) celebrates dimp wood and its particularities with a delicately turned piece of furniture. Another wood species, mongongo, is a sustainable and local resource for the Mbunda community living on the border of Zambia and Angola. Away from the world, the Mbunda continue the tradition of carving some of the largest ceremonial masks in Southern Africa.
Johanna Bramble's (Senegal) monochrome weavings, which appear simple, are in fact a clever combination of materials, such as cotton, paper and abaca. The work in natural fibers by the Woven Worldwide collective reminds us that Ghana is a land of know-how, particularly renowned for its baskets and woven forms.
Damascene is the specialty of the city of Meknes and the workshop of Hicham Essaidi and Jurande (Morocco), whose series revisits the decorative repertoire of the Kingdom. In the south of the continent, the designer Meyer Von Wielligh (South Africa) develops a new language inspired directly by nature for his furniture with modern and elegant lines.
The ceramic architectures of Nathalie Djakou Kassi (Cameroon / Nigeria), containing details enamelled or left raw, are urban dreams where Man is always at the heart. Humanity is also a question in the committed and unequivocal work of Ghizlane Sahli (Morocco), a living artist who marvelously combines the simplicity of recycled plastic materials with shimmering silk threads.
This selection is a first glimpse of the creativity of the continent's craft workshops and invites you to continue your journey through the spaces of the show devoted to the know-how of Africa, the beating heart of tomorrow's craft and materiality.