Solo Exhibition: Pélagie Gbaguidi
'Disclosed Traces and Triadic Apparitions'
Curated by Mika Hayashi Ebbesen
Communicating through marks and lines, Pélagie Gbaguidi presents gestural expressions which deconstruct the intangible. She carries within her own body what persistently resonates, even if it can not always be seen with ocular organs. A heavy silence is shattered by the forms born of this transmission, a mutation melding sterile documentation with the emotions of a somatic legacy that cannot be ignored. The fifty three drawings presented in this exhibition are rooted in a process of investigating colonial archives, driven by ritualistic returns to confront an obscured history conserved in the time capsule of a museum. Sitting across from photographs serving as witness to unimaginable horror and pain endured by colonial servitude, history awaits, ineradicable despite its consigned oblivion.
Patrimony has endowed the world with achievements of both grandeur and destruction. In examining the contemporaneity of such achievements, continuing prejudices and injustices point to the pedigree of racial segregation. An encounter with Gbaguidi’s work today is an invitation to meditate upon the complex relationship of humanity to our collective past. The flat neutrality of the blank paper becomes the temporal windows through which apparitions visit our watchful gaze. A counter flow is established against the epistemological eradication of trauma’s fluid cartography.
Two words etched against the silhouette of a body revolt: Je suis. This is not an excavated proclamation. This voice has always been shouting.
Image credit: Pélagie Gbaguidi Naked Writing Series 2016 Charcoal and pencil on paper 29x21cm
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