LausanneColours of my dream
The Dream is indispensable as a structuring element of the collective and individual imagination. – Djibril Samb
Fabienne Levy presents “Colours of my Dream”, an exhibition curated by Kami Gahiga featuring the works of Amina Benbouchta, M’barek Bouhchichi, Ekene Emeka-Maduka, Longinos Nagila & Alexis Peskine.
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The exhibition takes Djibril Samb’s L’interprétation des rêves en Afrique Noire (1998), winner of the Prix Noma, as the starting point of its curatorial line. Samb contends that while Western interpretation of dreams often falls within the individual realm, dreams can hold other meanings that go beyond the single or personal dimension. References to Samb’s book highlight the necessity for plural perspectives that do not confine African literature, creations and artists into a monolith. In “Colours of my Dream”, Amina Benbouchta, M’barek Bouhchichi, Ekene Emeka-Maduka, Longinos Nagila and Alexis Peskine weave their own universe, making us discover a world that combines an array of imaginings. Displayed in this show are pieces created in a range of media that encompass works on paper, painting, sculpture and installations made these last years, as well as new commissions.
Within a unique pictorial universe, each symbolic and deeply poetic work addresses a myriad of inquiries that artists have concerning the world, whether it be the position of women in society expressed through the visual exploration of domestic settings, our imbalanced and unsustainable relation with the environment, racial inequality within a range of landscapes or the constant questioning and refusal of conformity. Dreams become the gateway to escape the limiting confines of narrow viewpoints. Through distinct prisms, Amina Benbouchta, M’barek Bouhchichi, Ekene Emeka-Maduka, Longinos Nagila and Alexis Peskine open the door to new outlooks and deconstruct agreed codes of representation.
Amina Benbouchta is a Moroccan artist born in 1963 working and living between Casablanca and Paris. Benbouchta’s practice deals with the notion of time and involves incorporating floating and static elements in a range of media. Her repertoire of motifs draws from domestic life and investigate the social dynamics around home, family, and childhood.
M’barek Bouhchichi was born in 1975 in Akka, Morocco a place which the artist defines as a historical and geographical margin. His art engages with the concept of space and borders between North and Sub-Saharan Africa, is imbued with poetic exchanges, and rooted in the idea of sharing. He incorporates symbols of traditional Berber art whose principal axiom is the individual within the community.
Ekene Emeka-Maduka was born in 1996 in Kano State (Northern Nigeria) and lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada. Her paintings are based upon her recollection of lived and imagined experiences. Recurrent themes in the artist’s work involve investigating the ‘self’ and the impact that cultural and socio-political exposures have on identity.
Born in 1986, Longinos Nagila is an artist living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. Nagila explores the relationship between surfaces and shapes with works on paper that never appear to represent the same to every viewer. By challenging his audience perspective, Nagila’s works are an invitation to question the hierarchy of standpoints.
Alexis Peskine was born in 1979 in Paris and lives and works between Salvador and Paris. The artist brings his three-dimensional creations to life by using a technique he coined “acu-painting.” His dignified nail-works painted with gold leaf and pierced on coffee-stained wood, inspired by the Nkisi Nkonde (power figures) of the Congo Basin, offer a space of healing and reflection in the face of contemporary violence committed against people of colour.
“Colours of my Dream” blurs the lines between reality and the oneiric and illustrates how Benbouchta, Bouhchichi, Emeka-Maduka, Nagila and Peskine through their vast and diverse approaches, guide us in the navigation of an increasingly complex world.
Born on December 24, 1963 in Casablanca, of a Moroccan father and French mother, Benbouchta’s career as an artist officially began in 1986 after her graduation from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she majored in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies. In 1988 and for the next two years, she audited art classes at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. Her works have been shown in institutions around the world, from the Cairo Bienniale (1993) to the National Museum of Women and the Arts in Washington DC, USA (1997), with her most recent group and solo shows taking place in Rabat, Morocco.
Born in 1975, in Akka, Morocco, Bouhchichi lives and works in Tahanaout next to Marrakech where he also teaches art. Bouhchichi graduated from the Centre Pédagogique Régional, Rabat, Morocco. Through several media, Bouhchichi is developing a work around a tentative language grounded on the exploration of the limits between our inner discourse and its extensions towards the outer world, the present and others. He places his work at the crossroads of the aesthetic and the social, exploring fields of associations as possibilities for rewriting oneself. His artworks have recently been exhibited at international bienniales including the 13th edition of Dak’art, Bienniale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal; Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Germany; MUCEM, Marseille, France; Kulte, Rabat, Morocco. His work is also included in prestigious collections such as the permanent collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France; The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Born in Nigeria in 1996, where she grew up in Kano, the artist is now based in Winnipeg, Canada, having graduated this year with a BFA at the University of Manitoba. Since 2019, Maduka has already held two solo exhibitions including “Walk back home” at La Maison des Artistes Visuels Francophones in Winnipeg (7 February–2 March 2019), and “What is a dream”, presented online with Mirror Mirror Gallery (7 August–25 September 2020). She is a rising star in the art world, her solo exhibition at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London in October 2020 was a sold-out show, and her work is already included at the Museum of Contemporary African Art collection in Marrakech. In an article published on 6 October 2020, Christie’s named Ekene as one of the contemporary African Artists to collect now.
Longinos Nagila was born in Kenya in 1986. Prior to studying at the Fine Arts Bururu Institute, Kenya, Nagila studied 2D and 3D animation. After Bururu, the artist studied documentary and cinema in Apulia Film Commission, in Bari, Italy. He held his first solo exhibition in Lecce, Italy in 2009, and he has since continued to exhibit regularly locally and abroad. Nagila lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya as a member of the Kuona Artist Collective. Nagila was selected among a large pool of artists from Africa as one of only six Art Dubai Residents for 2020
Born in 1979 in Paris, Alexis Peskine’s family has Russian and Brazilian origins. Peskine obtained a BFA in Painting and Photography at Howard University, Washington, DC; an MA in Digital Arts at Maryland Institute College of Arts in Baltimore; and was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. He continued at M.I.C.A to complete a further MFA Degree. He has participated in many international fairs and exhibitions, including the He has participated in many international fairs and exhibitions, including the MAM Modern Art Museum in Rio, Brazil, the 3rd Black Arts World Festival and the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal; Addis Foto Fest, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Frieze New York, Pulse Art Fair, New York, Miami Art Basel’s Prizm exhibit, Miami, USA; Biennale Internationale de Casablanca, Morocco; AKAA (Also Known As Africa), and Afriques Capitales, La Villette, Paris, France; and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London UK.
Courtesy of the artists and Fabienne Levy, Lausanne