*** PRESS RELEASE ***
On the occasion of the AKAA art fair, YCOS-Project will be exhibiting two bodies of work by photographer Antoine Tempé. “WAA DAKAR” (“People of Dakar” in Wolof) is a series of portraits of women and men whose professional activities take place in the streets of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. “Débris de Justice” (“The Ruins of Law”) narrates an abandoned architectural space, the vacated House of Justice of the city of Dakar.
Since the beginning of the millenium, Dakar, the capital of Senegal, has been changing at a fast pace. The white city sitting on its cape verde has been developing rapidly; its colonial houses and its pénc – the traditional lébou villages – giving way to tasteless buildings and houses; its sand streets being replaced by asphalt roads and paved sidewalks.
Alongside these changes, some trades, legacies from the city’s past, endure. The borom saret, the horse cart driver to which the Senegalese filmmaker Sembène Ousmane paid tribute; the “Soleil” peddler, who sells the daily newspaper, dear to another movie director, Djibril Diop Mambéty; the fishmonger; and so many more who to this day, remain indispensable in the Dakarois’ daily life.
Feeling that these trades might soon disappear from the streets of Africa’s capitals, and with them a certain memory of the city, the photographer Antoine Tempé, himself a Dakarois by adoption, wishes to shine a light onto these craftsmen and women. In keeping with his documentary work on contemporary Africa, this body of work of Tempé’s will remain an important archive once these professions have disappeared from the cityscape.
“Débris de Justice” (“The Ruins of Law”)
“Débris de Justice” is a series of photographs taken inside the dilapidated former Hall of Justice of the city of Dakar, right before it was rehabilitated as the venue for the international exhibition of the Dakar Biennale in 2016.
In this series which hangs between a testimonial piece and a plea, the cracked walls, the abandoned objects, the floors strewn with legal documents lost forever, bring the evocation of a justice in pieces, of erased lives, in a post-cataclysmic landscape which is nonetheless consumed with a surreal beauty.
This series was met with an enthusiastic reception when it was initially presented as a video installation; at the Dakar Biennale in 2016; in the exhibition“Afriques Capitales” at grande halle de la Villette in Paris in 2017; in the exhibition “African Metropolis” at MAXXI museum in Rome in 2018. YCOS-Project is proud to exhibit for the first time photographic prints of this series.
Antoine Tempé :
French-American photographer. Lives and works in Dakar.
It is in New York where he settled in the mid-eighties that Antoine Tempé acquired a passion for photography. There he realized his first photographic assignments on American dance companies as well as on New York City’s nightlife which he covered for European publications. In 2000, he set about to travel through West Africa and Madagascar, where his discovery contemporary African dance was like a revelation; this new passion led him to produce the series ‘“Dancers of Africa” and Faces of Africa”.
Antoine Tempé has always been fascinated by the way in which a photographic portrait becomes a window into the subject’s soul. His portraits are easily recognizable through their minimalistic style, like in his recent series “WAA DAKAR” and “Face-to-Face”. Antoine Tempé also likes to explore the recent transformations of Africa’s large metropolises, and in particular that of the city of Dakar where he has been living for close to 10 years. His images are striking by their simplicity infused with an acute sense of aesthetics.
Founded in 2017, by art collector Olivier Salomon and curator and art critic Yves Chatap, YCOS-Project is a production agency whose vocation is to work alongside artists, helping them with curatorial development and production, as well as valorizing and marketing their projects.
YCOS-Project was conceived as a bridge between the artists on one side, and art institutions and galleries on the other side. It aims to foster contemporary arts production, with an emphasis on the fields of photography and visual arts.
Capitalizing on its founders expertise, YCOS-Project is keen on developing a south-south approach by promoting new dialogues between Africa, South America and South-East Asia. It aims to advance a new understanding of the historical and cultural links between these geographic areas. YCOS-Project contribues to the vitality of these various artistic scenes through the organization of exhibitions and artists’ residences for its artists. The combined competences of an art collector and a curator furthers a dynamic and complementarity analysis of its projects.
AKAA Also Known As Africa
Carreau du Temple
4, rue Eugène Spuller
Friday 9 Nov. 12 – 7:30 pm
Saturday 10 Nov. 12 – 9 pm
Sunday 11 Nov. 12 – 7 pm
Tickets : 16.00€ (reduced 10.00€, free for kids below 12 )
Press images available upon request