Galerie Cécile Fakhoury - Dakar is pleased to present Le Bal noir, the first solo exhibition of the young artist Carl-Édouard Keïta.
Inspired by the teeming creativity of the cabarets of the 1920s in France, where many black performers made their mark on history by the audacity and radical novelty of their creations, Carl-Édouard Keïta plunges us into the heart of a troubling ball. With the lead of the pencil on the paper, the geometrical silhouettes of the Roaring Twenties take shape; backstage scenes and portraits of muses and dancers such as Josephine Baker or Feral Benga, who embody the complex relationship that the era had with the body of the Other. The black body is represented here on stage, both as a receptacle of fantasies and as a vector of its own liberatory discourse.
The aesthetics of Carl-Edouard Keïta unfolds at the crossroads of influences, borrowing as much from constructivism, as from African primitive arts or from jazz. This mixture of references that the artist appropriates and reinterprets with brilliance to create his own universe echoes Paul Gilroy's notion of the "Black Atlantic". In his eponymous book, the theorist conceives the idea of an Atlantic Ocean as a network of cultural pollination and exchange flows between continents.
From one work to another, the exhibition Le Bal noir is thus a space for the circulation of polyphonic and visual heritages and unfolds as a sensitive experience where the spectator, subject of the story, is also its the writer and curator.
Carl-Edouard Keïta was born in 1992 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He now lives and works in New York. In 2021, he graduated from the New York Academy of Art where he also won the Best Draftsman Award for his graduation work. Le Bal noir is his first solo exhibition.