After a successful 2019 edition, the organizers of the Ouagadougou International Biennial of Sculpture have just launched the preliminary phase of the second edition, the BISO 2021. Interested artists are invited to apply by submitting their applications by November 30, 2020 at the latest.

A successful first edition

BISO is the initiative of two friends who are passionate about culture: the Burkinabe photographer Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo, and Christophe Person, head of sales of contemporary African art at La Maison Piasa. The first edition was held from October 8 to November 15, 2019 in the great hall of the French Institute of Ouagadougou. It was attended by many partners such as the Ministry of Culture of Burkina Faso, Oryx, the European Union, the French Institute, the association Solidarité laïque and African Artist for Development.

17 sculptors selected by Christophe Person and Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo exhibited for over a month their creations, with the aim of showing the diversity of African culture. The environment, tradition and the relationship between African art and Western masters are some of the themes addressed in different ways. With this first edition, BISO has established itself as the new unmissable event of sculpture in Africa.

BISO 2021: a second edition under the theme “L’AVENTURE AMBIGUË”.

For this second edition, BISO remains faithful to its original objective which is to support African sculptors, amateurs as well as experts. The main theme of this year’s biennial is “The ambiguous adventure”, as the title of the book by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, from which it takes its inspiration.

Although dating from the 1960s, this autobiographical work is still relevant to questions of gender, beliefs and contemporaneity. Within the framework of the competition, the applicants will therefore have to produce a text of maximum two pages that presents and explains the coherence between their creative process and “The Ambiguous Adventure”.

A two-phase process

The small novelty of this 2021 edition is the artist residency program which will allow a handful of selected applicants to create on site the works they wish to exhibit. These artist residencies will take place in the capital of Burkina Faso during the month of September 2021, for a period of 15 to 30 days.

The Biennale itself will start in October 2021, with the awarding of the Jury Prize to the artist whose work best corresponds to the theme of the year. The jury responsible for evaluating the works is composed, among others, of Abdoulaye Konaté and Soly Cissé, two renowned visual artists. The selected artists will then participate in the 30-day exhibition to be held in October 2021 at the French Institute in Ouagadougou.

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The application form

To apply, applicants must provide, in addition to the presentation text :

  • a completed application form (download here);
  • a curriculum vitae that retraces the training followed by the artist, his professional career, his experiences, as well as the list of public exhibitions in which he has participated;
  • Visuals of the works (up to 5 visuals allowed) in color, legible and captioned with details on the materials, dimensions and technique used.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to: no later than November 30, 2020. All applicants will receive a reply by e-mail during the month of December 2020.

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