ART PARIS 2020 10-13 SEPTEMBER
Wednesday, 9 Sep. from 11 AM to 8 PM
Thursday 10 Sep. 2020 from 12 PM to 8 PM
Friday 11 Sep. 2020 from 11 AM to 9 PM
Saturday 12 Sep.2020 from 12 PM to 8 PM
Sunday 13 Sep. 2020 from 12 PM to 8 PM
Soly Cissé Coton field
The metaphorical installation “Champ de coton” (Cotton Field) is a powerful tribute to the millions of men and women who were severed from their homelands and deprived of their freedom. It takes us on a journey through the Caribbean, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, etc. No human presence, no sound arrangement: as originally conceived by the artist in this work, only the evocative and symbolic force dominates. Beyond a pictorial composition through which human suffering would become beautiful, the installation tells the story of both the gruelling work, the weight of the bags, the flayed hands, the songs,the noise of chains at the feet from where jazz takes its rhythm, the struggles and the cultures emerging from these plantations which led to the abolition of slavery.
A world was created.
This work of art will be unveiled for the first time in France during Art Paris, following a short presentation at the Espace Commines* (Paris, France), at the end of 2019. Soly Cissé created another work of art on the same theme, this time comprising 170 sculptures. It was part of the 2018 Biennale OFF exhibition by the Dapper Foundation on the island of Gorée (Senegal), a place haunted by this dark past, and is currently on display at the Museum of Black Civilisations (M.C.N. – Musée des Civilisations Noires) in Dakar.
The gallery will unveil, at the 22nd annual Art Paris fair, Soly Cissé’s installation “Champ de coton” (Cotton field), which takes us back to the transatlantic slave trade. This installation combines some artworks that delve into the artist’s social and historical themes which are presented, among others, by unusual media, such as tar, used here as a symbol of animal suffering. Between knowledge and magical thinking, figures seem to float, side by side, in undifferentiated spaces like that of the large-format painting “Mythes et croyances” (Myths and beliefs). They represent the artist’s commitment to the interconnections between cultures in a contemporary globalized world. Soly Cissé manages to bring together ancestral forces and innovative language in his work by freeing himself from cultural constraints, making it possible for him to access all paths of artistic creation.
*Hier est la mémoire d’aujourd’hui (Yesterday is today’s memory) – Espace Commines – 30 October -11 November 2019 – A proposal by Marie-Christine Bouhours and Fabienne Billioud – Curator: Armelle Dakouo – Scenography: Zette Cazalas.