Support contemporary African artists in these times of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the aim of the auction which will take place from October 28 to November 5 on the website of the Drouot house.
A special sale because the works offered were donated free of charge by their author. In total, 73 lots with starting prices ranging from 600 to 30,000 euros, representing more than thirty artists from the continent, including internationally recognized plastic artists such as the South African William Kentridge, the Moroccan Mohamed Melehi, the Senegalese Soly Cissé or the Malian Abdoudaye Konaté.
A legitimate place on the world stage
“Africa Unite Against Covid-19” was initiated by the Foundation for the Development of Contemporary African Culture (FDCCA) and the African Culture Fund (ACF), which will each manage 50% of the income from the sale. Working to promote works to an African audience, the Foundation also wants to participate in the revitalization of the art market on the continent. As for the Fund, it defends the African desire to write new stories and to give a legitimate place to its cultures on the world stage. The Cornette de Saint Cyr and La Marocaine des arts houses are organizing this free sale.
For Fihr Kettani, secretary general of the FDCCA, “The closure of borders and the bans on event gatherings have helped to prevent the mobility of artists, the circulation of cultural goods, as well as the possibilities of their dissemination. After a moment of disarray and astonishment, different proposals and initiatives emerged. Resilience and resistance have always been at the heart of African culture and history. If the outcome of our global fight against this pandemic is still uncertain, thinking about the aftermath, or even “how to live with it” is an obligation ”.
Some of the artists donating the sale had entrusted, in 2019, works to the pan-African traveling exhibition “Lend me your dream”, organized by the FDCCA. As if to prove that showing the achievements of plastic surgeons from the continent is not an impossible thing in Africa, far from the great Western “fairs”.
A very personal mythology
Influenced in particular by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francis Bacon or Jérôme Bosch, the former beach boy and Dakar surfer Soly Cissé does not hide the influence of the ocean in his work at one time. Today, the painter, sculptor and photographer composes a very personal mythology, made up of strange beings: “I am a multidisciplinary artist, always looking for new techniques. My work is part of narrative or lyrical expressionism: everything depends on the circumstances of the moment. “
For this sale he has “Chosen [s]he works with care so that they can help young artists who need support. It is with immense pleasure that I joined this generous project, solidarity oblige. Meeting the given and the receiving, embracing one’s culture and going out to meet others ”.
Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo also welcomes an initiative “Very important”. “This sale is clearly part of my associative commitment on the continent. I am used to helping associations in Africa. I also created Bandjoun Station [projet global à vocation sociale, culturelle et agricole sur les hauts plateaux bamiléké dans l’ouest du Cameroun] », He explains.
Inspired in particular by the speech of Albert Camus in Stockholm in 1957, where the Nobel Prize for Literature specified that the task of the writer is to stand on the side of the oppressed, by the writings of Kant, without forgetting his animist side, l The artist believes that it is sometimes necessary to offer his works, as in Ségou’Art, in Mali, in 2019. “My work is simply a universal expression of life”, he specifies.
For Fihr Kettani, “The mission of the Foundation is to make contemporary African culture audible! Firstly in Africa and for Africans, but also beyond. This sale also tends to reinforce, in a time of unprecedented crisis, that solidarity exists and operates in a virtuous circle which knows how to share and exchange resources so that they benefit the greatest number ”.
Finally, for him, it is also about “Stimulate intergenerational exchanges between established artists and emerging artists by sharing knowledge and experiences, and participate in energizing an intra-African artistic market by connecting artists, galleries and collectors”.