Image: Installation, OFF Dakar Biennial, GRAN’ MA’S WALL + ME THE OTHER / MAN KENEEN KI: Fatou Kandé Senghor (Senegal) & Johanna Domke (Germany/Denmark)


 

FACE a FACE / Face to Face

Danish and Senegalese artists in a peaceful confrontation based on the idea of negotiation.

Curated by Amadou Kane Sy and Michelle Eistrup

Collaborative Artists:
GRAN’ MA’S WALL + ME THE OTHER / MAN KENEEN KI: Fatou Kandé Senghor (Senegal) & Johanna Domke(Germany/Denmark)
TOUKI & TRAVELLING: Ibrahim ”Piniang” Niang (Senegal) & Kirsten Otzen Keck Denmark)
GLOBAL WARRIORS: Amadou Kane Sy (Senegal) & Frans Jacobi (Denmark)


Face to Face is a collaboration between Senegalese and Danish artists that have created videos, animations, photos and installations made specifically for the DAK’ART Off Biennial in Senegal in May and Images of My World Festival in September 2010. In the preparative workshop for Images festival, Michelle Eistrup, Visual Artist and Curator met with the leader of the DAK’ART biennial Ousseynou Wade, who established and fostered the idea of establishing two longer working collaboration periods on equal terms for Danish and Senegalese artists. With a glimt in his eye, Amadou Kane-Sy, the Senegalese curator coins this collaboration as a 'peaceful negotiation’. All the teams have worked at the National Workshop for Art and Craft in Copenhagen and at the artist workshop in the Portes et Passages du Retour, Ngazobil and in the city of Joal-Fadouth.

This platform renders intense, fruitful and at times difficulties as it digs into a complex foundation. The idea that each artist has to render and enter into the context of one’s partner is not an easy road to travel, both in terms of language, social understanding and interpretation of each other’s historical and present context. It demands openness to one’s partner, the community and trust in a way that makes it possible to be lead through the complex system of societies and thought. The process is an essential factor in this communication, and this is what to leads to new paths and openings in the development of the works. One has to only look at the work Shifting Expectations, by Frans Jacobi and Amadou Kane –Sy to begin seeing their entrance into the idea and notion of the other, in relation to our perception and the discourse set in relations to the discourse that has been the Western person and the Non-Western. The notion is that the other can only be conceived as that which is non-Western, however, in Africa, the Western is just as much perceived as the other, and this establishes the conceptual basis for the project.

 GLOBAL WARRIORS: Amadou Kane Sy (Sénégal) & Frans Jacobi (Danemark), Off Dakart' and Images of My World, 2010.

 

In contrast, GRAN MA’S WALL seeks to connect with the viewer on the basis of commonality, belonging, roots and passages. Both Johanna Domke and Fatou Kandé Senghor contribute with images, drawings, needlework and framing to set the mood, one’s footing in a space in between the past and the present. As Fatou states ‘Gran ma knew we would not make it too far without a refill. She knew we would be back.’

ME THE OTHER / MAN KENEEN KI is built on the documentary story of a one egg twin from Senegal. The one twin returns to Senegal after many years in USA, the other returned twenty years earlier and in the mirror of his brother he is confronted with an evaluation of what is belonging, history and kinship.

In Touki, and Travelling, Kirsten Otzen Keck and Ibrahima Niang animations register the passages in between spaces, people and dreams. Flying into the crowded underground, talking houses torn in between bits and pieces of paper in motion, tears in our urban world of cities, underground traffic, people, and villages. The opposing forces of distance and closeness are established as they communicate in between these worlds of reality, fantasy and flight

 

FRENCH TEXT
Face à Face, artistes du Danemark et du Sénégal dans une confrontation pacifique à travers l’idée de négociation

Les artistes en collaboration:

GRAN’ MA’S WALL: Fatou Kandé Senghor (Sénégal) & Johanna Domke (Germany/Denmark)
TOUKI & TRAVELLING: Ibrahima ”Piniang” Niang (Sénégal) & Kirsten Otzen Keck Denmark)
GLOBAL WARRIORS: Amadou Kane Sy (Sénégal) & Frans Jacobi (Danemark)

Commissaires: Amadou Kane Sy(Sénégal) & Michelle Eistrup(Danemark)

« Face à Face » est une collaboration entre des artistes sénégalais et danois à travers la vidéo, le dessin, la peinture, l´animation, la photo, l’installation. Le travail a été produit spécialement pour être montré dans le off de la biennale de DAK’ART en mai 2010 au Sénégal et dans le cadre du festival « My World Images » en septembre 2010 à Copenhague Danemark.Au cours de l’atelier préparatoire de My World Images festival, Michelle Eistrup artiste et commissaire de ce projet et Ousseynou Wade le Secrétaire Général de la Biennale de Dakar, émirent l’idée de l’organisation de deux longues périodes de travail en collaboration sur la même base, entre artistes danois et sénégalais. En un clin d’oeil, Amadou Kane Sy , artiste et commissaire pour ce projet, perçut cette collaboration sous l’angle d’une confrontation paisible à travers la négociation, facteur incontournable de tout processus artistique. Les artistes, constitutés en couple, ont travaillé au « National Workshop for Art and Craft » à Copenhague (Danemark), à l’Atelier-Galerie de « Portes et Passages du Retour » de Ngazobil et dans la commune de Joal-Fadiouth (Sénégal)

La plateforme ainsi créée devint intense, productive et bien sûr, difficile par endroit, puisque la chose devant creuser dans une fondation complexe. Le fait que chaque artiste doive conjuguer avec le contexte de son partenaire n’est pas un chemin facile à emprunter compte tenu de l’histoire, du présent, de la langue, de la compréhension des codes sociaux et culturels de chacun. Cela nécessite une ouverture l’autre et une confiance qui puisse permettre de naviguer à travers le complexe système des pensées et de vie différentes.

Le processus est un facteur essentiel dans cette forme de communication, il permet l’accès à de nouveaux sentiers de nouvelles portes pendant la création du travail.Il faut juste regarder la pièce SHIFTING EXPECTATIONS (Attentes bouleversées) de Frans Jacobi et de Amadou Kane Sy pour entrevoir l’idée et la notion de l’autre, compte tenu de la perception et des discours admis et définissant l’interaction entre les occidentaux et les non occidentaux. Sur cette base, l’autre ne saurait être que le non occidental, toutefois, en Afrique par exemple, l’occidental est forcément perçu comme étant l’autre. Le nommé dépend de celui qui le définit. La base conceptuelle de ce projet repose sur ce fait.

GRAN MA’S WALL éssaie d’établir avec le public une connexion basée sur l’idée d’appartenance, de possessions personnelles, de racines et de passages. Aussi bien Johanna Domke que Fatou Kandé Senghor ont contribué avec des images, des dessins, de la couture, et des encadrements particuliers, pour nous camper dans la peau de celui qui navigue entre le passé et le présent. Comme l’a dit Fatou : « Gran Ma savait que l’on n’irait pas loin sans renouveler les choses (le mur qui narre l’histoire). Elle savait qu’on reviendrait ».On aura aussi accès à une brève esquisse de leur vidéo

ME THE OTHER / MAN KENEEN KI, construite sur l’histoire documentaire de deux jumeaux utérins du Sénégal. L’un d’eux est retourné au Sénégal après plusieurs années aux Etats Unis, l’autre est rentré il y’a déjà vingt ans, et à travers le reflet du miroir qu’est son frère, il se confronte à une redéfinition de la notion de possession personnelle, d’histoire et de la parente

 

Image: Installation of GRAN’ MA’S WALL + ME THE OTHER / MAN KENEEN KI: Fatou Kandé Senghor (Senegal) & Johanna Domke (Germany/Denmark), IMAGES of MY WORLD, Odd Fellow Palace 2010.

 

 

 

Above Images: Single Video Installation, TOUKI & TRAVELLING: Ibrahim ”Piniang” Niang (Senegal) & Kirsten Otzen Keck Denmark), Installation at Odd Fellow Palace, Images of My World 2010.

BIO of ARTISTS

Amadou Kane Sy: Senegal

Besides writing about African contemporary art Amadou Kane Sy (b. 1961) works as an artist, expressing himself through different genres and styles. He is also the founder of "Huit facettes" (eight sides), an initiative where a number of artists worked together to create centres for art and creativity that could reach out to various social groups. Like other of Amadou Kane Sy's works the aim was to create a counterbalance to globalisation and commercialisation by moving focus from those things that can be measured and weighed and over to quality and creativity. To Amadou Kane Sy Africa is, to a certain extent, defined from the outside. Every time an African country receives support, be it economic aid or development aid, the support is always accompanied by a contract. An agreement which binds the country, compelling it to act according to the ideologies of the donor countries. In 2009 My World IMAGES showed Amadou Kane Sy's video work "Lu et approuvé" (read and approved) which gets its title from the official signature on French contracts. The essence of this work and the overall goal for Amadou Kane Sy's world can simply be put like this: "globalisation from the bottom!" – artistically as well as culturally.

Frans Jacobi (1960) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he has taught since 1994. He has participated in a number of exhibitions in Denmark and internationally, including: Participant Inc,/Anthology Film Archives, New York (2008), The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Boston (2005), Nationalgalerie in Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2004), Overgaden, Copenhagen (2003) and Museum Fridericianum, Kassel (1998). In 2007 he received a three-year working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. Ever since the beginning of his career Frans Jacobi has set himself off as a suggestive neo-realist, using sound effects and simple visual means. Carefully chosen objects are meticulously placed in a room as Jacobi investigates themes surrounding human presence/absence. An example is the exhibition "69 Scenes" from 2008 – an integrated part of Frans Jacobi's PhD project about "the aesthetics of resistance" at Lund University. "69 Scenes" consisted of drawings, photographs, text, video, objects, sound, and installation paraphrasing the unfolding events when the Youth House at Jagtvej was demolished, resulting in huge protests and riots.

Johanna Domke was born in Kiel in 1978, graduated from the Royal Danish Art Academy in 2006 and now lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. She has also studied at the Muthesius Academy, Kiel and the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden. In 2003 she received the Audience Award at ZKM Internationaler Medienkunstpreis for her work "Let the Wind Blow" and the Brockmann Award from Stadtgalerie Kiel. In 2004 Domke received the Edstrandska Stiftelsens scholarship for art students in Sweden. Ever since, her work has been exhibited both in and outside Europe in museums and art institutions such as: Hasselblad Center, Gøteborg; Gøteborg Art Museum, Gøteborg; KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Casino Luxembourg, Luxemborg; Bonner Kunstmuseum, Bonn and at internationally renowned festivals such as European Media Art Festival 2003, Osnabrück; Locarno Film Festival 2006, Locarno; Oberhausen, and Recontres Internationales 2005/2007, Berlin and Paris. Johanna Domke works with individual and collective reaction patterns in specific situations in public spaces, where people have to adhere to certain social patterns and systems. She portrays people who are standing in a sea of other people or who sleep side-by-side, yet still seem to exist in their own private space, created by Domke's camera. The hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to be sucked out of normally busy and noisy intersections, allowing Domke to transform the small, condensed still photos to filmic narratives and instil them with a life of their own.

Fatou Kande Senghor, whose real name is Fatoumata Bintou Kande, was born in 1971 in Dakar, Senegal. Fatou Kande Senghor grew up in a number of different African and European countries, and this background has provided her with a multi-cultural and unique scope and an understanding of different nuances and traditions. A background that is reflected in her work. Her conceptual art often takes the form of "art-science", a scientific experiment covering themes such as ecology, environmental issues, modern technology and politics. Fatou Kande Senghor currently works from Waru Studio in Dakar – a name that underlines what it is all about; in local language Wolof, "Waru" means "astonishment". The artist does not believe in art for art's sake, but sees it as an effective weapon when it comes to treating and solving a lot of Africa's problems. Fatou Kande Senghor works with photography, video and print.

Kirsten Otzen Keck (b. 1969) works with animation, video, collage, photography, and installation in which she samples her own and found materials. Her work is about the way we enter diffuse communities in the public sphere so that we can act out our feelings. In the collage and animation series "Self-movements in the Mass Movement" (2008) the individual's presence in the world is linked to mass movements (gender, religion, history, fascism, democracy). A culture of the common unspoken yet private sensations, where you use the word-less but very sensitive body to sense the shame and fear, as seen in the gymnastic shows and public parades of the 1930s.
Niang Ibrahima: Senegal

Senegalese Niang Ibrahima (b. 1976) works with installations, animation, collage, and painting. His work is centred around the differences between European/Western and African realities and reflects on the way globalisation is making his home town, Dakar more and more westernised. Niang Ibrahima is occupied with the media's way of interfering and shaping the way we perceive "the others". He wants us to put aside our utopian dreams and fantasies about other, and better, places and instead take a close look at our own resources and the possibilities that are right in front of us.

Text From My World Images Press Office 2010