From the beginning, Saïdou Dicko understood that he could see the mists over his head as well as in the sands of his hometown. As a young Fulani shepherd, he explored the red sands of the Sahel and followed the shadows cast by the moving mists above him.
This is what he shows in his exhibition “Umrissene Welten” at the ARTCO gallery in Berlin, Germany, until October 29, 2022.
Saïdou Dicko addresses the outlines of his sheep, and then the outlines of individuals, all captured clearly on the walls of houses or on the beautiful textures woven by his mother. These shadows remain the central element of her visual narrative, which extends to photography, film, installations and painting.
In his most memorable series of works, “THE SHADOW THIEF“, he follows his loved ones with a phone camera, tracking their excursions and activities.
Be that as it may, the shadow thief does not take on the character of these individuals; in sum, the distance of these contours with broken points of view brings us closer to the marks of the individuals depicted, emphasizing the work of adolescent play, hard work, and complex, yet recognizable relational particularities.
Here, deliberation is taken in Saïdou Dicko‘s work as a stunt to draw the viewer’s consideration all the closer to the social settings of each scene.
We see the characters in the local stores, sitting in discussions in the courtyards of houses, or riding bicycles in his capital, Ouagadougou.
Saïdou Dicko, who currently lives and works in Paris, has taken this reflection to another level. In his most recent work, he immerses the figures in his photographs in dark oil, adding an extra layer to the image.
Anonymizing these subjects with thick brushstrokes, he separates the idea from the individual, democratizing his characters by eliminating key cultural markers such as age, affluence and confidence.
Saidou Dicko‘s dynamic organizations unfold in a setting of luminous materials, evocative of his initial profession and creative practice. A world of melodious stories, where beings are something other than shadows, then gently take shape before the viewer’s eyes, an invitation to connect with the characters on a deeper level, to imagine their perspective and enter his profiled universe.