PRIMO MARELLA GALLERY

The Black Sphinx. From Morocco to Madagascar

Mounir Fatmi / Hassan Musa / Julien Creuzet / Ouattara Watts

18 May - 15 September 2017

The Black Sphinx. From Morocco to Madagascar
The Black Sphinx is the title-metaphor that refers to Africa, a continent that, at the south of Egypt and its wonders (including the famous Sphinx), still apppears “black” and unknown at the beginning of the twentieth century. This exhibition draws inspiration from the book written by Mario Appelius “La Sfinge Nera. Dal Marocco al Madagascar” and published in the 1920s, after the First World War. The story tells about the discovery of Africa through a journey of European and American explorers aimed at knowing the continent with its wealth and trade opportunities, verifying the health situation in the various states, carrying out searches on botany, exploring races and cultures, and knowing the varied political situations, in order to be able to write journalistic reports or simply report them to their governments. This very heterogeneous and quite large group of scientists, doctors, journalists, political consultants, captained by Italians, starts this journey from North Africa with various means of transport (from caravans of animals, to ships, to trains - wherever railways existed) partly by land and partly by sea, then arrives, after a long wandering in South Africa and in Madagascar. Throughout the journey, well described by the author with a brilliant post-decadent narrative style, the magic and fascination of this continent are evoked, then followed by multiple stories: meetings, visits to villages, attendances at ceremonies, talks with authorities of territories, whether it deals with wild sovereigns or government officials, as you get to politically more advanced states (such as South Africa).
On the basis of this story-journey, we investigate Africa in terms of the results achieved by the latest artist's experiences from Morocco to Madagascar, as the book's subtitle says, we would encounter too if we wanted to Make a journey to discover Africa in terms of artistic research and evolution of visual arts.
Behind the mystery of such a great territory made of practices, traditions and conflicts so far from us, there is a new contribution to contemporary art resulting from the experiences of some artists. It is original, full of fascination and secular magic and strong in its own connotation, thanks to the unconventional ideas and researches that make the art of these authors strongly innovative.
As a result, some artists end up drawing on African textile tradition in order to realize modern tapestries both descriptive and abstract ones (Abdoulaye Konaté, Hassan Musa, Emo de Medeiros), instead of other ones who get their inspiration from disused resources that can be few available remains used to create stunning artistc objects with the recycling approach (Moffat Takadiwa), or fashion newspaper clippings combined to create modern collage mosaics on canvas (Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo).
The exhibition presents also a more conceptual perspective with artists from Morocco (Mounir Fatmi) and Tunisia (Nidhal Chameck, Yesmine Benkhelil), usual to the European school thanks to France, the port of entry where they have spent a long time, living and facing up to a different reality.
The same goes for the other end, South Africa, where there are artists who use more sophisticated languages, close to north African experiences (Rowan Smith, Cameron Platter).
The scenario is very heterogeneous, full of artists whose experiences are not to be seen as alternatives but as complementary and mutually enhancing ones. They contribute to give us a slice of a world where the hunting ground has turned into a ground that conquers us through art.
Dan-Dada

Ouattara Watts

Dan-Dada
2002
Acrylic on canvas
Cm 127 x 100

Dan-Dada
2002 - Acrylic on canvas - Cm 127 x 100

Cosmic

Ouattara Watts

Cosmic
2002
Acrylic on canvas
Cm 127 x 100

Cosmic
2002 - Acrylic on canvas - Cm 127 x 100

Saint Georges terrassant le dragon et la Bibliothèque Nationale

Hassan Musa

Saint Georges terrassant le dragon et la Bibliothèque Nationale
2003
Ink on textile
Cm 225 x 220

Saint Georges terrassant le dragon et la Bibliothèque Nationale
2003 - Ink on textile - Cm 225 x 220

Monkey Cena

Hassan Musa

Monkey Cena
2003
Ink on textile
Cm 178 x 187

Monkey Cena
2003 - Ink on textile - Cm 178 x 187

La lutte de Jacob avec l’ange (Tete de Van Gogh)

Hassan Musa

La lutte de Jacob avec l’ange (Tete de Van Gogh)
2009
Ink on textile
Cm 178 x 191,5

La lutte de Jacob avec l’ange (Tete de Van Gogh)
2009 - Ink on textile - Cm 178 x 191,5

Who is Joseph Anton serie - diptych

Mounir Fatmi

Who is Joseph Anton serie - diptych
2012
Inkjet print on baryta paper gloss fuji
Cm 70 x 50 ognuno/ each

Who is Joseph Anton serie - diptych
2012 - Inkjet print on baryta paper gloss fuji - Cm 70 x 50 ognuno/ each

Who is Joseph Anton serie

Mounir Fatmi

Who is Joseph Anton serie
2012
Inkjet print on baryta paper gloss fuji
Cm 20 x 30

Who is Joseph Anton serie
2012 - Inkjet print on baryta paper gloss fuji - Cm 20 x 30

Mega

Cameron Platter

Mega
2014
Pencil on paper
Cm 238 x 181

Mega
2014 - Pencil on paper - Cm 238 x 181

History is not mine

Mounir Fatmi

History is not mine
2014
Mixed media
Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

History is not mine
2014 - Mixed media - Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

Five Hands

Nidhal Chamekh

Five Hands
2015
Fiberglass
Cm 80 x 200 x 100

Five Hands
2015 - Fiberglass - Cm 80 x 200 x 100

Homme du Sahel

Abdoulaye Konaté

Homme du Sahel
2015
Textile
Cm 218 x 145

Homme du Sahel
2015 - Textile - Cm 218 x 145

Trash nationalism

Rowan Smith

Trash nationalism
2016
Polysheen fabric and aluminum
Cm 230 x 135

Trash nationalism
2016 - Polysheen fabric and aluminum - Cm 230 x 135

Everybody runs, before the beginning, the great departure, my rocket cheetah, flight of Columba ...

Julien Creuzet

Everybody runs, before the beginning, the great departure, my rocket cheetah, flight of Columba ...
2016
Photography on wood, girth, plastic, vase, teaspoon
Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

Everybody runs, before the beginning, the great departure, my rocket cheetah, flight of Columba ...
2016 - Photography on wood, girth, plastic, vase, teaspoon - Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

Excess of dust, blocked. I saw him monstrous...

Julien Creuzet

Excess of dust, blocked. I saw him monstrous...
2016
Wood, girthes, plastic, water, necklace of seeds, cardboard, adhesive tape
Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

Excess of dust, blocked. I saw him monstrous...
2016 - Wood, girthes, plastic, water, necklace of seeds, cardboard, adhesive tape - Dimensioni variabili/ Variable dimensions

Black or White...?

Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo

Black or White...?
2016
Collage and acrylic on canvas
Cm 139,5 x 169; cm 50 x 50

Black or White...?
2016 - Collage and acrylic on canvas - Cm 139,5 x 169; cm 50 x 50

Papillon

Abdoulaye Konaté

Papillon
2016
Textile
Cm 261 x 232

Papillon
2016 - Textile - Cm 261 x 232

La Sfinge Nera

Alessandro Sicioldr

La Sfinge Nera
2017
oil on canvas
120 x 150 cm

La Sfinge Nera
2017 - oil on canvas - 120 x 150 cm

Untitled

Cameron Platter

Untitled
2017
Glazed ceramic
Cm 38 x 12 x 11

Untitled
2017 - Glazed ceramic - Cm 38 x 12 x 11

Untitled

Cameron Platter

Untitled
2017
Glazed ceramic
Cm 38 x 12 x 11

Untitled
2017 - Glazed ceramic - Cm 38 x 12 x 11

Il est où le chameau 1

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 1
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 1
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 3

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 3
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 3
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 4

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 4
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 4
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

After rain

Ouattara Watts

After rain
2017
Mixed media on canvas
Cm 182 x 160

After rain
2017 - Mixed media on canvas - Cm 182 x 160

Il est où le chameau 5

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 5
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 5
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Untitled

Ouattara Watts

Untitled
2017
Mixed media on canvas
Cm 182 x 160

Untitled
2017 - Mixed media on canvas - Cm 182 x 160

Il est où le chameau 1

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 1
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 1
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Dogon

Ouattara Watts

Dogon
2017
Mixed media on canvas
Cm 182 x 160

Dogon
2017 - Mixed media on canvas - Cm 182 x 160

Il est où le chameau 6

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 6
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 6
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 7

Yesmine Ben Khelil

Il est où le chameau 7
2017
Mixed media
Cm 40 x 34

Il est où le chameau 7
2017 - Mixed media - Cm 40 x 34

Citrus fruit, celestial body bruise, cave of entrails, the humanity hides marvels, immune systems

Julien Creuzet

Citrus fruit, celestial body bruise, cave of entrails, the humanity hides marvels, immune systems
2017
Orange, pigment, wood, metal, plastic, rope, necklace

Citrus fruit, celestial body bruise, cave of entrails, the humanity hides marvels, immune systems
2017 - Orange, pigment, wood, metal, plastic, rope, necklace

Composition gris, bleue, rouge et orange

Abdoulaye Konaté

Composition gris, bleue, rouge et orange
2017
Textile
Cm 235 x 293

Composition gris, bleue, rouge et orange
2017 - Textile - Cm 235 x 293