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Seydou Camara – Amadou Sanogo; The Manuscripts

We are very proud to present an exhibition with the artist Amadou Sanogo and the photographer Seydou Camara who are exhibiting their work in Sweden for the first time.

The exhibition includes paintings and photographs whose content and world of imagery have deep roots in the society of Mali in West Africa, where they both live and work.

Their works involve complex patterns of a society where both traditional and contemporary conditions and traditions run in parallel. In the paintings and photographs this reality is reflected in sensitive, beautiful and multifaceted compositions.

 

Seydou Camara’s series “Les Manuscripts de Tomboctou” (Manuscript from Timbuktu) takes its starting point in the thousands of manuscripts gathered in the desert town Timbuktu in northern Mali, one of Africa’s most important centers for trade and culture in the 14th and 15th centuries, but today a city in the shadow of Islamists. The manuscripts, which have been produced over the centuries and passed on from generation to generation, comprise vast and rich knowledge in many different fields: natural sciences, philosophy, theology, astronomy, etc. Their content and documentation are an essential part of African history writing.

 

The photographs reveal the beauty and fragility of the documents and the parchment. We see how the text in the meticulous scripture has been carefully formed in the laborious work of the transcriber. These precious documents are today stored in dark rooms but still under insufficient conditions. How long the manuscripts will remain, an irreplaceable legacy for coming generations, is still an issue that concerns. In his photographs, Seydou Camaras describes with great tenderness an important part of his history in order to preserve it.

 

In the paintings of Amadou Sanogo there are layers of meaning that also affect both history and future in the light of the present. His paintings are powerful in beautiful lines, color fields and contours that possess a clear communication. In the paintings that are part of the exhibition, the motives of the human body are manifested in existentially stilizised figures. In seemingly simple forms, we can sense movements and twists, as well as underlying structures of both contemporary and traditional imagery traditions.

 

Amadou Sanogo’s artistry is based on a desire to express himself through a language that escapes categorization. He talks about resistance to historical dichotomies between continents, between urban and rural societies, between tradition and modernity. But also to resist closed patterns that belong just as much to his own society as to the rest of the global world. The paintings contain an openness that reaches out towards the viewer, as an invitation to leave obsolete forms of interpretations behind.

 

Seydou Camara is born in 1983 in Segou, Mali. Today he lives and works as a photographer in Bamako. Seydou Camara has participated in a large number of exhibitions in Africa and Europe. He was part of the international photo biennale “Les Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie” 2015 in Bamako, Mali and Documenta 14 with Igo Diarra and La Medina.

 

Amadou Sanogo is born in 1977 in Segou, Mali. Today he lives and work in Bamako. He has been educated at l’Institut National des Arts in Bamako but is also firm on his own vision outside the rules of the Academy. He has exhibited world wide and participated at International Art Fairs. His most recent exhibition took place at Voice Gallery, Marrakech, Morocko and Art Paris Art Fair 2017. He is represented by the gallery Magnin- A in France.