About Now #1 - ABIDJAN: Emerging artists from Africa and Beyond

19 June - 28 August 2021 Project Space - Abidjan

Thibaut Bouedjoro-Camus was born in 1996 in Reims and now lives in Paris.
The atmosphere that emerges from Thibaut Bouedjoro-Camus’ works oscillates between tragedy and poetry, desire and despair. Like a dramatist of bodies and movements, the artist awakens in the spectator an awareness of the intangible, of difference and of subtlety. His works carry traces of the mystery at the origin of all creation, of a magical and elusive world that challenges our claim to omnipotence. They thus create a luminous fable, where the sententious and written moral would be replaced by an intuition, whose transmission, henceforth free, would be done through images, faces, colours and bodies.


Carl-Edouard Keïta was born in 1992 in Abidjan and now lives in New York. Keïta’s drawings show a great mastery of composition, each work carrying a story, a narrative. The decomposition of the bodies of the figures represented into several geometrically shaped elements can be understood as mimetic of a movement of unveiling and deconstruction of the subjects addressed in his works, from the visible to the hidden. The works of Carl-Edouard Keïta express the ambiguity of the place of African artists in France in the 1920s, and convey this admiration for bodies and movements. Between cubist inspiration and the influence of African primitive arts, Carl-Edouard Keïta’s works question the sharing of our heritage between tradition and modernity, between Africa and Europe.


Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien was born in 1990 in Paris, where she now lives. A maker of new forms, an explorer of materials and signs, Marie- Claire Messouma Manlanbien defines herself as a storyteller of poems. Like labyrinths or rebus, her works compose a new topography around the themes of femininity, identity, the body and matriarchal filiation. The artist’s works, on the borderline between sculpture, tapestry and installation, offer us the possibility of navigating the meanders of their poetic narratives, of losing the landmarks that have been bequeathed to us in order to better redraw a path of life that is our own. Between sophistication and simplicity, the works of Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien unfold their meanings and invite us to play hopscotch, in memory of our childhood, gradually assembling the path that will allow us from the earth to reach the sky together. "Embrace life. Let yourself blossom. [...] Dance!"


Agnes Waruguru was born in 1994 in Nairobi, Kenya, where she lives today. Agnes Waruguru is an explorer of materials, sometimes precious like silk or ordinary like vinyl, some sublimating the others and composing dreamlike landscapes, where reality intrudes through shapes and sensitive touches. Each material and each practice carries with it stories, cultures and identities. Her works bear witness to an aesthetic approach to introspection and the relationship between dream and space, between materiality and fantasy. Agnes Waruguru thus offers us an experience of sensitive meditation, and takes us with her to places that are unknown and yet familiar, through works that are both diaphanous and powerful.


Claudia Tennant was born in 1988 in Johannesburg and now lives in Paris. Her work seeks to capture the complexity of pre-colonial African histories. Using both painting and new digital technologies such as NFTs, Tennant weaves together these histories with the current debates that punctuate post-colonial thinking.