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Galerie Cecile Fakhoury opens an exhibition of works by Kassou Seydou
The artist’s new series of works is situated at the junction of land and sea, perhaps in that area known as the foreshore, sometimes covered or uncovered by the tides, which carry with them the destinies of their travellers and the anonymous memories of their wrecked victims.



ABIDJAN.- From Dakar to Abidjan, Kassou Seydou takes us on a plastic and poetic odyssey around the journey.

On 26 September 2002, the ship Joola, which links the port of Ziguinchor in Casamance, Senegal, Kassou Seydou’s homeland, with the port of Dakar, is wrecked. Of the human drama that still marks the consciences of several generations of Senegalese, one question remains: what still drives us to travel? From the joyfully chosen journey to the journey that we impose on ourselves or that is imposed on us, Kassou Seydou depicts in impressive frescoes the meanders of spiritual and physical journeys, whether fortunate or tragic. Always sensitive to the social issues that affect his country and the world as a whole, Kassou Seydou invites us to question our prism of perception and to embrace in a generous and human gesture the complex relationships between the construction of identity and otherness.

The artist’s new series of works is situated at the junction of land and sea, perhaps in that area known as the foreshore, sometimes covered or uncovered by the tides, which carry with them the destinies of their travellers and the anonymous memories of their wrecked victims. Kassou Seydou’s paintings also carry these stories, in a meticulous disorder of upside down figures, emerged or immersed, in cold and warm colours, curves and solids. The spectator plunges with him into this plastic jungle, a dreamlike universe to which the eye gradually gets used to, finding signs or guessing a narrative. Beneath the foam of the sea, those whose gaze crosses our path ask us: what world are these tragedies the witnesses of? When will the waiting end?

Thiaroye, Soumbédioune, Cap Skirring, Djiwalo, as many coastal towns, as many places of departure, whose reverse side would be to be gateways, places of anchorage and of becoming rather than of remembering. Kassou Seydou seeks to question the foundations of the journey, especially when it takes the form of emigration, and even more so when the latter is clandestine and dangerous. What extreme is reached when the only remaining life force is that of risking death? From his studio in Keur Massar, where the artist has lived since 2016, the artist observes, listens and wonders. His paintings lead us, with their hypnotic spirals, beyond morality and judgement, towards an introspection of feelings and collective human consciousness.

From ochre to icy blue, from green to orange, the artist’s palette navigates between land and sea, between jungle and ocean, a space inhabited by fantastic creatures, marine or terrestrial. The characters that populate the artist’s canvases and imagination, slender figures with eternal coloured hairstyles and plastic shoes, question the viewer about the sense of desire, expectation and hope that emanates from the journey. Subtly, Kassou Seydou seems to suggest that the answers must first be found within ourselves, that there is no inner wreck that cannot be solved and thus invites us to cherish the beauty of the chaos dancing within each of us.










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December 18, 2020

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