After his exhibition at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes, at the Kunstmuseum in Wolfsburg, at the Musée du Quai Branly, he offers the public a last visit this year at the Galerie MAGNIN-A in Paris where he presents his most recent creations until December 3, 2021. The Beninese contemporary artist Romuald Hazoumè presents masks, installations, a selection of photographs and paintings to recall his 33 years of collaboration with the gallery owner André Magnin.
Presented in world institutions such as MoMA in New York, the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Fondation Louis-Vuitton in Paris, to name but a few, he uses his art to remind us that he is of Yoruba stock and descended from a Babalawo ancestor, the high priest of the fâ originating from Nigeria at the royal court of Porto-Novo.
Romuald Hazoumè creates his works from waste materials and used objects, which he recovers to communicate his art and his vision of society. Having made masks a force of transmission, he translates through his art his thoughts through huge installations, thus interpreting his assurance to fight servitude, contraband and corruption. He also addresses the effects of migration and questions the inequality he sees between the Western and African worlds.
At the MAGNIN-A gallery, Romuald Hazoumè presents new masks made from jerry cans that he reuses to give them another life through colors, beads and hairstyles. In this line, he maintains the custom of sculpture known in the history of contemporary art, offers a valuable analysis while questioning the traffic of the essence of the contraband that feeds the exchanges between Benin and Nigeria. The main point he emphasizes in his installation ZoCooter. This motorcycle filled with bottles that shows the work of « Kpayoman », these young Beninese dealers who transport crazy quantities of fuel in perilous conditions on the tracks to escape control.
Throughout the exhibition, he challenges each of us by letting us know that the West is not the Eldorado free of bad governance as his installation « Antidépresseur » asserts. He questions us on the uncertain conduct of Africans tempted by the platitudes of the West without seeing the abundance at home. In fact, it is a ravaging of the continent’s assets at the expense of the African people.
As he pointed out, Africa has everything that is fundamental to its future, but nothing is done by the holders to exploit it. The installation Antidepressant is a set consisting of a Senufo bed placed on a carpet of cocoa beans behind which a screen shows a video of dawn and dusk.
A series of paintings by the artist summarizes his reflection on the divinatory geomancy of the Fâ, on which he has been working for several years.
Considering himself a “watchdog” of Yoruba culture, Romuald Hazoumè, through his work, takes a fundamental look at the Western framework and questions the ambiguities of globalization. His latest creations denounce relocation and castigate the inconsistency of the terms of trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Living and working in Porto-Novo, this artist is a watchman who calls us at every moment on the moral qualities but also human.