Guiss guiss (the vision): Kassou Seydou

11 December 2021 - 5 February 2022 Paris

Guiss Guiss. From Dakar, you can take the boat in direction of Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance. That’s the journey Kassou Seydou undertook many years ago, and during this same journey the world suddenly appeared to him as he has since portrayed it, in his delicate paintings. Guiss Guiss.

 

This was also the route of the Joola in 2002, when she sunk near the coast of Gambia and took 1,863 people with her. Twenty years later, the ship still haunts the minds of travelers who take the shuttle. The veil of Kassou Seydou's symbolic writing here becomes a multitude of wavelets where the ghosts of the Joola float, and from which emerges a warning to those who must undertake another long journey, the migration to Europe, that of all dangers. Menona niak (It might not be so), titles Kassou Seydou in one of his works.

 

In the exhibition Guiss Guiss, which in Wolof means "The Vision", Kassou Seydou also presents works produced in residence at Denbi Birame Ndao. Far from the city, close to the forest, this saving retreat for the artist leaves room for memories and reflections outside the noise of the world: My living room in the little jungle. In a series of paintings, Kassou is inspired by village children, Kai khol (Come and watch) or even Guis nboko? (Have you seen ?). The forest becomes a space symbolizing society, as in the diptych The great grandsons of Aguiene and Djambol which recalls the link between Sérère and Diola nations.

 

In each of his series, Kassou Seydou takes a unique look at different aspects of contemporary Senegal. The artist's unique and poetic universe evokes in turn migrations, their impact on society and youth, the question of work, the relationship with tradition and nature. A unique artist in the West African painting landscape, Kassou Seydou encrypts his works with a layer of fluid signs, a motif that seems to immerse his subjects and their landscapes in a symbolic space where animals, sculptures or colored spheres appear. The place of a different perception. Sometimes serious, readily ironic, Kassou Seydou often twists traditional Senegalese sayings in order to express the contradictions of a way of life caught between tradition and the effects of globalization.