The Institute of Contemporary Art of the Indian Ocean (ICAIO) hosts until April 12 an exhibition of the works of the Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the collection of the Regional Fund of Contemporary Art (FRAC) of Reunion.
ICAIO is a platform for arts education and a public art program in Mauritius.
Through the visits of international contemporary artists to exchange with children and Mauritian students, ICAIO honors the cultural diversity of the country and seeks to encourage critical thinking and dialogue through the arts of the region.
ICAIO is an independent, non-profit arts foundation created in May 2015 by Salim Currimjee.
Samuel Fosso in the FRAC REUNION * collection
In the practice of photographer Samuel Fosso, the space of the studio is a place conducive to the creation of realities. A place that offers a nursery of possibilities, a place in which, thanks to the artifices – sets, accessories, light – the imaginary materializes.
The artist stages himself. Passing from the American bourgeois to the king, his self-portraits become avatars carrying symbols. Using these representations, borrowing American, African and Western historical iconography that each identifies, Samuel Fosso re-appropriates the story. He reactivates it, gives it a second wind and invites to reflect on reinvested images.
Since his first series of the 70s to African Spirits, Samuel Fosso seems to disembody to become “the others”. He affirms his existence in a collective consciousness and ends up forming a “We”. A “We” that does not compose a whole, but a multiplicity of “One”, associated in sets. Fosso is not One but several and the borrowing of icons offers him a plurality of existences. From the personal body to the collective body, he becomes a timeless mediator, a voice through the image.
As he moves from one body to another, the artist moves from one iconography to another. He does not just move. In turn, he embodies them, reinvests them. Thanks to his successive incarnations, he transcends his identity in the image.
Creating a dialogue of Samuel Fosso’s works – by preferring to the serial chronology the echoing deployment of the pieces – makes it possible to verify these passages, these conversations, these similarities. His images then propose moving meanings through the interweaving of possible interpretations.
Samuel Fosso at ICAIO
until April 12
Institute of Contemporary Art of the Indian Ocean
51 Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Street