“Free yourself from the dim space.
The one that escapes connection with all dimensions
Extending, like a sky, in all directions.
The perfume of a rose, while separating from it,
Escapes and pervades the garden.
But you, keep being paralyzed in one corner of the meadow,
Like the nightingale, you are content with a single rose.”
Mohamed Iqbal, Les secrets de soi. Les mystères du Non-Moi, 1989
Today, visualization predominates our ways of imagining the surrounding world. Contemporary societies are defined by an incessant hubbub of images. Social networks dictate the laws of information by producing visual codes by the second, posted in a snap on Instagram or Facebook. By imposing its “universal” codes and standards, the West relegated the un-manifest to the bottom of its heap.
“Invisibilized”, the un-manifest has found itself weeded out of the collective imaginaries, and the spiritual dimension dismissed from contemporary concerns.
If we consider some examples of contemporary realities on the African continent, the dialogue between spiritual and material dimensions has at times been collisive, but it has never broken off.
Our current challenge is that of inscribing the coexistence in a dynamic continuity, without allowing ourselves to be imprisoned in an outdatedly traditionalist vision of an often (self-) exoticized Africa.
The exhibition Invisible is an invitation to re-learn to perceive beyond the margins of the visible. All of the works presented offer the audience a dialogue between artistic strategies, each of which in their own way integrates the un-manifest of spiritual dimensions, by focusing on practices of rituals and myths rooted in the material realities of everyday.
In his essay “Reinventing African Modernity” Blondin Cissé puts forth an approach of reconnecting to the broken heritage: “to deploy a real strategy of emancipation!”, which might henceforth be considered a reparation of the cut-off point between the manifest and the un-manifest pronounced by Western thought and its normative definition of a Universal. One such emancipation would consequently issue through the re-appropriation of spiritual traditions and their integration into contemporary realities. That is why we need to re-learn how to channel this relation of the visible to the invisible.
Alya Sebti, curator of the exhibition.
Press and documentation
• Programme Dak’Art 2018
• Interview with Simon Njami in Diptyk n.43
• “Getting INto Dak’Art 2018” in Biennial Foundation
• “Dak’Art 2018 – Musée de l’IFAN and other venues” in contemporary&
• “The Red Hour” in Art Agenda
• “Dakar à l’heure rouge” in Art Media Agency
Venues of the exhibition:
Ifa galerie in Berlin
11th October to 3th February 2019