« Tokyo », the exhibition of the contemporary Ivorian artist Aboudia presented until August 28, 2021 at The Gallery Cecile Fakhoury offers new works on canvas and paper, a monumental mural and a selection of drawings from the archives of the artist.
« Tokyo », as a source of perspective, is a tribute to his neighborhood Yopougon that the artist returns. It summons the opportunity of Aboudia‘s artistic work, which draws a world with a fluid geology, animated wholeheartedly by a grouping of references in star, where the present is the best.
Covering a large space of the exhibition with a gigantic fresco of thirteen meters long, Aboudia invites the visitor and transports him to another universe. A sort of indirect tribute to the Ivorian language: Nouchi.
In Abidjan, many speak this language, and almost everyone understands it. However, it is constantly progressing, new words are created every day. There is no reference word, no foundation, no authority for its diffusion. So it never stops and is constantly refreshed in the familiarity of its reality and this is what allows it to be a deeply living language. And between Nouchi and the plastic universe of the artist Aboudia, there is a similarity. A development made of innovation and endless energy.
Aboudia thus creates his own artistic jargon, whose strength resonates with the fluctuating encounters of different observers. By not adapting to any code, his work transcends the lines to arrive at a global form. His works take us on an excursion into his reality, which reminds us of something.
In his world, the fantasized elsewhere is etched into the truth of the present, and the mass of his truth is continually annihilated to make room for equal dreams. The incomprehensible has no place here, and as the foundation of his fresco, made of an assemblage of images, articles, photos or pages of books, states, the artist appropriates what he has no idea of, makes his own what is other, without waiting for anyone’s approval.
When he enters the exhibition, the visitor is trapped in a disordered and practically bewitching musicality, each nuance bringing another heartbeat, each material another note. Here cardboard boxes, there young people’s clothes. On the one hand, fluorescent and electric tones, on the other hand dark shades with melancholic accents.
« Au gbaki », one of the paintings in the exhibition, stands out for the presence of bright children’s clothes joined to the canvas, as if it were a repeat of the huge installation composed of children’s clothes and stuffed animals presented in 2016 in his exhibition « Môgô Dynasty ».
The paint drips evoke the long strings of texture of the time thus testifying to the elegant and ephemeral solidity of the artist’s universe. In this work, the clothes come alive. Imbued with a busy and resonant environment, resonating with the little youths in bright clothes playing on the roads, the horns of vehicles covering their laughter from time to time.
A kind of questioning of their stories? As if to ask us if we are really seeing the first snapshots of opportunity for young people from the parental gaze or from children passed to their own choices?
The book doesn’t say that much. However, it does tell of restlessness, warmth, energy and play. It says a tumultuous delight, an everyday existence that floods the space.
In the artist’s paintings, many eyes notice us, their sneer becomes amusing, even mocking. As if they were asking themselves: What are we doing here? What is going on?
Her works are ambivalent, defiant. The characters in her paintings do not allow themselves to be fixed or captured. They rather like to divert us by their double form, to constantly avoid our assumptions, even our glance.
Aboudia thus plays with the principles of figuration and deliberation, and those of contemporary art in general. He comes to deconstruct the space of his form and defends himself and all his coterie, his gbonhi, in a world that tries to deal with them.
In each work, a crowd of lives swarms, a rush of air and agitation, contours that seek their place in spaces that are greedily too narrow.
One feels in these paintings the presence of the Ziguéhis of yesterday until the birth and affirmation of the Nouchi.
Aboudia observes, notices and immerses himself in his city, he is at one with its development, its changes. He offers us until August 28, 2021 at the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery a thrilling journey from the seaside of West Africa.