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Emo de Medeiros (born 1979) is a Beninese artist living and working in Paris, France and in Cotonou, Benin.

Emo de Medeiros
Vodunaut -001 (Hyperfinder)-1.jpg
Vodunaut #002 (Hypercharger)
Websitewww.emodemedeiros.com

His work explores themes of transculturalism, transforming identities, post-colonial representations, and globalization as a worldwide hybridization and mutation.[1] He also questions the African continent's transformations in the context of the digital revolution and the occurrence of a Pan-African 21st-century TransAfrica in transition between tradition and accelerated innovation.[2]

Contents

Background and educationEdit

After spending his childhood and teenage years in Cotonou, Benin, he moved to France to pursue an academic education. He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris where he studied history, sociology and anthropology, after which he continued his training at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts also in Paris.

While in Beaux-arts he started focusing on digital arts: digital photography, graphic design, 3D modeling, digital video and interactive devices, and specifically explored the relationship between time and memory through the notion of instensity (intensity of the instant), linked to his experimental and electronic musical practice. After finishing art school he directed musical videos and experimental short films while pursuing his practice as a composer and producer of electronic music in Paris. He then moved to Boston, where he attended classes at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, before returning to France and finally to Benin.

WorkEdit

Emo de Medeiros' work crosses a variety of mediums, including photography, video, textile, painting, performance, and sculpture, and investigates themes of social and symbolic interactions, of the relationship to the digital civilization, of ethnicity and Panafricanism in a post-colonial context. He is sometimes associated with afrofuturism.[3]

His practice is based on the notion of contexture, defined as the creation of artefacts based on interconnections between cultures, materials, concepts techniques and practices from diverse areas, eras, and uses. In particular his pieces often mix technological elements (such as connected devices)[4] and forms from classical African art, notably from Benin, or fuse art genres such as installation and performance resulting for instance in the notion of performative installation in which the public represents a semantic element in its own right, such as Kaleta/Kaleta presented in Palais de Tokyo in 2014.[5]

In 2015 he presented Pavillon du Bénin during the 56th Venice Biennale, a clandestine installation located next to the French Pavilion in the Giardini, the main site of the biennale.[6] The ephemeral piece was an ironic political commentary about the clandestine African vendors figure's absence in the works presented at the biennale, despite their highly visible presence in touristic towns in Italy, about the economic and symbolic power balance that makes the presence of national pavilions of African countries difficult, and about the controversy regarding the Kenyan Pavilion where most of the artists presented were Chinese.[7]

His work has been shown in several solo and group shows in Benin,[8][9] France,[10][11] United Kingdom[12][13][14] and South Africa.[15] It was also presented at the Salon de Montrouge in 2013,[16] at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2014,[17] at the Dakar Biennale[18][19] and at the Arts in Marrakech (AiM) International Biennale[20] in 2016.

ExhibitionsEdit

2016
  • Transpositions, 50 Golborne gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • Transmutations, Backslash gallery, Paris, France
  • 12th Dakar Biennale, Witnesses of the Invisible, Dakar, Senegal
  • 6th Marrakech Biennale, "Not New Now", Marrakech, Marocco
2015
  • All things magic, RSF gallery, Paris, France
  • Venice Biennale Off, Benin Pavilion, Venice, Italy
  • Vodunaut, Centre Arts et Cultures, Abomey-Calavi, Benin
2014
  • Kaleta/Kaleta, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2013
  • Black Light Sanctuary, 58th Salon de Montrouge, Montrouge, France

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Philippe Dagen (16 September 2016). "Sélection galeries : Emo de Medeiros et Murakami". Le Monde. France.
  2. ^ Dagara Dakin (6 October 2016). "A Conversation with artist Emo de Medeiros: Transmutations and Transpositions". Contemporary And. Germany.
  3. ^ Dave Mann (4 March 2016). "'Contexture' is key: An interview with hypermedia artist Emo de Medeiros". 10and5. South Africa.
  4. ^ Morgane Vannier (18 August 2016). "Dak'art : art et nouvelles technologies". Sekou magazine. France.
  5. ^ "Kaleta/Kaleta de Emo de Medeiros". Le Point Perché. France. 28 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  6. ^ Claude Biao (16 September 2016). "Le Bénin, passager clandestin à la Biennale de Venise". Le Monde. France. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  7. ^ Serubiri Moses (15 April 2015). "Outrage over Chinese artists chosen to represent Kenya at Venice Biennale". The Guardian. United Kingdom.
  8. ^ Josué F. MEHOUENOU (14 August 2015). "Exposition du franco-béninois Emo de Medeiros : "Vodunaut" : quand l'art africain adopte et épouse la technologie". La Nation. Benin. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  9. ^ Cyrille Sèmako Ligan (18 August 2015). "Exposition " Vodunaut " : Emo de Medeiros peint l'" Homos Futurus "". Fraternité. Benin.
  10. ^ "Emo de Medeiros – Transmutations – Backslash". Point Contemporain. France. 3 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  11. ^ Dagara Dakin (6 October 2016). "A Conversation with artist Emo de Medeiros: Transmutations and Transpositions". Contemporary And. Germany.
  12. ^ Osei Bonsu (28 September 2016). "Emo de Medeiros : Transpositions". Contemporary And. Germany.
  13. ^ "1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair: Emo de Medeiros at 50 Golborne". Art Africa. South Africa. 29 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  14. ^ Roxana Azimi (7 October 2016). "La foire 1:54 consacrée à l'art africain continue à se bonifier". Le Quotidien de l'Art. France.
  15. ^ "The Medium is the Message:' ART AFRICA In Conversation with Emo de Medeiros". Art Africa Magazine. South Africa. 23 February 2016. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Montrouge dévoile sa liste". Le Quotidien de l'Art. France. 21 January 2013.
  17. ^ Virginie Ehonian (30 November 2016). "Kaleta/Kaleta : le Bénin au Palais de Tokyo". African links. France.
  18. ^ Philippe Dagen (10 May 2016). "Un Dak'Art sous le signe de la colère". Le Monde. France.
  19. ^ Elena Giulia Rossi (4 May 2016). "Witnesses of the invisible at the Dakar Biennale". Arshake. Italy.
  20. ^ Metropolis (24 April 2016). "Biennial of Marrakech 2016 II: Side projects". RTVE (Spanish National Television). Spain.