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April 20 - November 24, 2024


The Blue Note

Côte d'Ivoire National Pavilion at the 60. Art Biennale

Commissioner: Illa G. Donwahi

Curator: Simon Njami

Artists: Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny, Jems Koko Bi, François-Xavier Gbré, Sadikou Oukpedjo, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien

Open Wednesday to Monday, closed on Tuesdays

April 20 - September 30 : 11 am - 7 pm

October 01 - November 24 : 10 am - 6 pm

Address: San Trovaso Art Space, Dorsoduro 947 - Google maps link

Vaporetto stop: Zattere

Free admittance

I don’t mean a thing if I ain’t got that swing. (Duke Ellington)

Ivory Coast is a part of Africa which itself is a part of the world. Its identity, since independence, has been built on a broad and assumed pan-Africanism. A national flag should not be locked into a fixed identity but around a common language. In Venice, the common language is art and each group or individual adapts it through idiomatic forms which are not always easy to translate, but which can be understood in these singularities. This is the language that artistic creation seeks to capture. In its attempt to express the unspeakable.

Did Africans deported to the Americas and elsewhere feel despair when they realized that the path of return was forever closed to them? Maybe. But they transformed their despair and the loss of the “mother tongue” into an act of absolute resilience: the blue note, which allowed them to express this particular color that was missing from the Western system. It is what allows us to sing solitude and the fatigue of life but also hope. It is the note that allowed Africans to survive and live.

In our contemporary times, where the Other is ostracized everywhere, It is this fierce and inalienable strength, this intact strive for hope that we intend to activate through the Ivorian pavilion. 

(Curator Simon Njami)

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