DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Simone Leigh & Chitra Ganesh


  • © Paul Mpagi Sepuya

My dreams, my works must wait till after hell... : video installation, 7’18", 2012, courtesy of the artist, created, directed, & produced by Girl (Simone Leigh + Chitra Ganesh), credits: featuring: Kenya Robinson; Score: Kaoru Watanabe; Director of Photography: David Guinan.

My dreams, my works, must wait till after hell…, whose title is inspired by a poem by Gwandolyn Brooks, is a video installation that pushes the classic representation of the female nude. Result of collaboration between Simone Leigh and Chitra Ganesh, both member of the collective Girl, this work presents a new dimension of feminine iconography. On one hand, it is a deeply feminist work and secondly, it combines the features and attractions of both artists into a singular work. This wealth is induced by the proliferation of materials used and the experiments injected in the creation of the work. In a musical atmosphere created by Karou Watanabe, the artist Kenya Robinson achieves a performance in which the staging of her body, the black body, defies conventional representations of the black female body, usually put forward for its attributes. She is lying on the side, in peace, although the head is covered with gravel. It is not her voluptuous shape that catch your eye, but the swelling of his chest following the rhythm of the music. So that the body’s fragile appearance seems to defy death.

Simone Leigh’s practice is an object-based on-going exploration of black female subjectivity. She creates sculpture, videos and installations informed by her interest in African art, ethnographic research, feminism and performance. Leigh was awarded the 2014 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant. She is a 2012 Creative Capital Grantee and a recipient of the LMCC Michael Richards award 2012. Leigh has been awarded residencies other awards including the 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant; The artist-in-residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem from 2010–11; The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program, Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace program, the Art Matters research grant and the New York Foundation for The Arts Fellowship for Sculpture. Leigh was a facilitator of the 2012 International Art Programme at The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include solos shows at The Kitchen and Tilton Gallery in New York, NY, and group exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, SculptureCenter, NY, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; L’Appartement22 in Rabbat, Morocco; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; and the AVA Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work has been featured in several publications including Modern Painters, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Small AxE and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and EBONY Magazine.

View online : www.simoneleigh.com