Contemporary African Art Exhibition Series


"As a painter, I have included matter as a dimension into the manner to perceive the real. I am at an intersection between the material and in the immaterial. It has to do with the order of breath and the unseen. Working in such a space helps me to see a different reality and to decipher my outlook, as if I was turning transparent and that, at that very moment I could merge with my surroundings…

Recently the body of my work has evolved into frescos, in order to contemplate the signs which came to me like visions... Today, it is necessary to look upon history through different angles. My artistic engagement leads me to face the history of my origins, the history of black people through time, to better understand the cultural, social and economical issues of the world which I am part of. '

PĂ©lagie Gbaguidi, was born in Dakar in 1965 from Benin origin. She graduated from the Beaux Arts, Belgium in 1995. She works and lives in Brussels, Belgium. Her recent exhibitions include, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, Afrika Museum Arnhem, Gallery Ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart, Pan Africa Festival Algeria and Show Off Fiac.

Pélagie Gbaguidi's work can be seen as an ensemble – an anthropologic frieze; using working material as painting, photo, writing, drawings, installation, as reflections of individual and collective memory.

Her stance as a "griot" is an engagement towards the collective. Her definition of "griot" is one, who through the spoken word can operate in different artistic fields, creating a link between the contemporary and traditional. Her approach to her heritage takes on a critical and innovative form. In a poetic sense, the "griot" has the power to trigger in each of us the need for introspection. He absorbs the words of the ancestors to shape them with notions of his times into a "ball of grease" that he leaves in the belly of the passer-by. In a practical sense, he breaks the commonplace rhythm, by inserting subtle incidents, integrating his part of eternity.

Statement of the Installation « Le Chariot »

This work is an initiatory trip into living memory and ancestral worship. Belief is extremely rooted in Africa through rituals, which place favour on the notion of the sacred, of life, and of death. It is perhaps urgent to settle this question at the striking hour of globalisation. This philosophical and spiritual concept finds a universal echo today.

Selected Exhibitions & Projects

Biennale de la photographie Africaine, Bamako   2001
MusĂ©e d'Art Moderne et contemporain de LiĂ©ge, Passages Belgique   2001
Biennale de la Photographie Bamako Rites SacrĂ©s Rites Profanes   2003
Rhizome, Espace d'Art Contemporain, Torcy,France   2003
Biennale de l'Art Contemporain Africain, Dakar   2004
Rites SacrĂ©s Rites Profanes Mexico/ exposition collective   2004
National Black Fine Art Show, New York   2005
Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, Paris   2005
National Black Fine Art Show, New York   2006
Biennale de l'Art Contemporain Africain, Dakar   2006
Musée d'Art moderne, Saint Domingo, République Dominicaine
Casa Africa, las Palmas de Canarias, Spain
Black Fine Art Show Atlanta
Dockanema festival du film Mozambique
Museum of Modern Art Arnhem Nerthelands
Biennale de l'Art Contemporain Africain, Dakar
Exposition Musicale Conservatoire Royal de Musique Bruxelles
Museum National Modern Art Alger festival panafricain
Ifa Institut Berlin Dak'Art
Apex pro art e.V Göttingen solo show
Show off , fiac off , Galerie Girot   2010

Forthcoming Exhibitions

Residency Thamgidi Foundation   2011
Divine Comedy   2012-2013

Selected Publications

N.Paradoxa, International Feminist Art Journal, London, UK   2002
Le Monde 2 oct 2003   2002
V Rencontre de la photographie Africaine Bamako   2003
6ème Biennale de l'Art Africain Contemporain Dak'art 2004   2004
« L'imaginaire de PĂ©lagie « » portait de la RTBF rĂ©alisĂ© par Olga Baillif & Katy N'Diaye   2005
«  la visite est terminĂ©e » edition la trame   2006
7ème Biennale de l'art africain Contemporain Dak'art 2006   2006
Victoria et albert musuem The unconfortable truth catalogue   2007
L'afrique Miroir Dak'Art   2008
L'homme est un mystère ODDCC CĂ´tes d'Armor   2008
Slavery in Art and Literature Frank & Time
African Women MAMA Alger
Non pas ce soir La trame Espace Regards   2010


Fiacre de la DRAC REUNION pour le projet 'Le chariot de l'humanitĂ©.'   1999
Prize Res Artis for A residency in Air Krems Progamm Austria Biennale de Dakar   2006
Prize Thamgidi Fondation Biennale de Dakar   2008

Art Collections

Artothèque Ă®le de la RĂ©union    
Holocauste Memorial Fondation    
Illinois Casa Africa Las Palmas Grand Canary