Art | Mathka Paris | Exhibition | Nomadic abstraction

Acrylic on canvas, Mathka Paris - 2019

For a few months now the visual artist Mathka Paris has been exhibited in the lobby of the Grand Hotel du Niger, in Niamey. Blue, red, ochres… a bright palette, chosen as a signature, contrasts with this vast hall in which I finally enter to discover the work of the French-Nigerien artist. For this exhibition in the country where she grew up, Mathka Paris presents a series of acrylics on canvas, created between 2015 and 2019.

In between abstraction and surrealism, the artist transcends the Wodaabé culture of which she is the heir, to make us travel between dream and reality. In phantasmagorical settings, Fulani figures are in conversation. Women are omnipresent in the work of Mathka Paris. Singular headdress, make-up, scarification and adornment act as armour. Self-portrait or universal figure, with a contemplative gaze, a nomadic spirit, she remains fascinating and elusive.

Untitled - Mathka - Acrylic on canvas, 2019
Untitled – Mathka Paris – Acrylic on canvas, 2019

And always this zebu. Companion of the people of breeders. This zebu looking at me from the four corners of the room. This emblematic and powerful figure, muse of the artist. From the top of his presence, silent, he watches, he protects, sometimes he hypnotizes. If the woman proudly wears her braids, he wears his horns. Unusual objects float in weightlessness. A cigarette burns insolently here and there. In the background, the horizon, these textures and landforms that bring depth to each painting, like an escape route, vanishing line or line of sight.

In the abstract works, volumes, curves and fine lines like threads intertwine. The golden tones dazzle, changing with the light like shifting dunes.

Beyond the warm colours, a part of darkness and enigma remain. Sharing daydreams, anxieties and fantasies, Mathka Paris takes our imagination beyond the frame. In a contemporary way, Mathka pays tribute to the traditional Fulani Wodaabe culture. If the installation could have presented the works in a better way, thanks to this exhibition, the characters born under other horizons, enriched by physical and inner journeys, return to their land, like shepherds after the transhumance… for the great pleasure of the people of Niamey !

Mathka Paris - Exhibition, Niamey 2022

Mathka Paris Exhibition

Presented by le Grand Hôtel du Niger
Opening : Octobre 29, 2021
Niamey, Niger

Untitled - Mathka Paris, 2017

Visit Mathka Paris’ website here.

Movie | Zinder | Another Look at the Sahel

Zinder film - Aïcha Macky

The Sahel as far as the eye can see. A city, Zinder. Scars, muscles, rage,… and the rage to live too.

Last June, it was in front of a packed house that the premiere of the movie Zinder took place in Niamey.
After several international screenings the Nigerien director Aïcha Macky was back home to present her latest documentary.

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Dance Festival | Dialogues de Corps | Ouagadougou

Dance Festival - Dialogues de Corps 2020 - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

On December 9, the festival Dialogues de Corps will open its doors for a new edition : Nos Solitudes Partagées (Our Shared Lonliness), at the Choreographic Center La Termitière in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In these times of uncertainty and restrictions, the festival is adapting and this edition will have a special resonance with the presentation of mainly solos. An ode to all isolated bodies and a message of resilience and hope.

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