Cheikh Ndiaye’s work is guided by a singular look given to the informal, which is to him the source of his artistic practice. Retrieved from a lethal state, obsolete objects are brought back to life. The objects return to their material plenitude and are project into a renewed imaginary
Cheikh Ndiaye’s world constantly reflects the origin of his research, the street. The painted views create openings and seem to traverse the opaque, dense and imposing exposed concrete wall. The everyday objects echo a tangible and established reality. However, the arrangements seem to veer from diverse spheres towards distant spaces and shifting times. The order of things through visible or concealed forms constantly reinvents itself to its limits.
The unity of Cheikh Ndiaye’s work stems from the way he uses matter, recognizing its plurality. He materialises the idea of the porosity of substances, in relationships of alterity or otherness. He interlinks it in his pieces with the notion of deterioration, as if resisting omission.
"The work of Ndiaye rehabilitates not only architectural interstices, but also those between the materiality of paintwork and concept, between image and installation, between anthropology and art. His paintings can be seen as strange containers that keep the spectator in uncertainty despite their apparent realism; it seems as if their pictorial quality only refers to something that is not immediately visible.
It is the same respect for laboring hands and do-it-yourself enthusiasts which can be found in his installation. The reconstruction of objects related to an informal economy appears in Ndiaye's works as a positive practice, a reparation of society. He observes the informal in a unique manner. According to him, this area is not a mere socio-economic survival practice, but the basis of all artistic work - it is an everyday Duchampian defamiliarization, a space where art is sutured to life."
Jana Beránková (Writer/Art critic at Art Margins)
Image: Privatisation d'un espace par son ciel, Dakar, 2016