Pélagie Gbaguidi (from Benin born in Dakar in 1965), lives and works in Brussels. Gbaguidi calls herself a contemporary "Griot". A "Griot" questions the individual as he or she moves through life by absorbing the words of the ancients and modeling them like a ball of fat that he places in the stomach of each passer-by with the ingredients of the day. In the practical sense, it breaks the commonplace rhythm by inserting subtle incidents integrating its part of eternity. Her work is an anthology of signs and traces on the trauma. In fact, it is one of her recurrent subjects, evidenced by the acquisition of 100 drawings of the Code Noir (1685) series at the Memorial Act in Guadeloupe. Her focus of interest is centered on the colonial and postcolonial archives and on the unmasking of the process of forgetting in history. This readjustment of the imaginary arouses in the artist the urgency to give it form, a writing of liberating images and a corpus to draw contemporary forms.Has participated in numerous international exhibitions such as ; Biennale of Dakar (2004, 2006 , 2008, 2014, 2018) ,“Asyl Stadtmuseum”, Stadtmuseum, Munich (Germany) 2013, “Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (Germany ) 2014, “Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”, National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institution, Washington (USA) 2015,“El iris de Lucy”, Musac, Castilla y León (Spain), “L’iris de Lucy”, Musée Rouchechouart, (France), " El iris de Lucy" CAAM Spain 2017 ; "Afriques Capitales" Gare de Saint Sauveur Lille 2017 ; "The Beauty of the Difference" Palace of Lieberose Germany 2017 . Recently, she took part in the last Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel and contributed in the last book « Why Are We 'Artists'? » 100 World Art Manifestos from Jessica Lack. In October 2018 , she received a scholarship from Civitella Ranieri Foundation. In 2019, she participated in "Decolonizing the Body" at Eternal Network Gallery in France and in May at the Exhibition "Multiple Transmissions: Art in the Afropolitan Age" at Wiels (Brussels) and at the Biennial of Lubumbashi , at the Frohner Museum ( Austria ) in October.
As a 'Griot'
d14 Pélagie Gbaguidi Installation The Missing Link Decoloisation Education by Mrs SMiling Stone
Photo copyright Mathias Völzke
As a ‘Griot’ I bring historic events from the past to the present, in a kind of timeless syncretism where the future would be perpetually remodelled by our past actions. There is a quest for new aesthetic forms of orality, and the questioning that ensues: what is the place of orality in the contemporary sphere? Is orality an architecture of language? How is it transmitted today through the digital revolution? Is this important for the survival of the human species? A lure? A fiction?
Label documenta 14
“How might education contribute to purge from consciousness that there exist no under-beings but that the birth of a life is a value in itself. That every human has a right to a cradle”
Pélagie Gbaguidi 2017