“As a painter, I have included matter as a dimension into the manner to perceive the real. I am at an intersection between the material and in the immaterial. It has to do with the order of breath and the unseen. Working in such a space helps me to see a different reality and to decipher my outlook, as if I was turning transparent and that, at that very moment I could merge with my surroundings…
Recently the body of my work has evolved into frescos, in order to contemplate the signs which came to me like visions… Today, it is necessary to look upon history through different angles. My artistic engagement leads me to face the history of my origins, the history of black people through time, to better understand the cultural, social and economical issues of the world which I am part of. ‘
Pélagie Gbaguidi, was born in Dakar in 1965 from Benin origin. She graduated from the Beaux Arts, Belgium in 1995. She works and lives in Brussels, Belgium. Her recent exhibitions include, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, Afrika Museum Arnhem, Gallery Ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart, Pan Africa Festival Algeria and Show Off Fiac.
Pélagie Gbaguidi’s work can be seen as an ensemble – an anthropologic frieze; using working material as painting, photo, writing, drawings, installation, as reflections of individual and collective memory.
Her stance as a “griot” is an engagement towards the collective. Her definition of “griot” is one, who through the spoken word can operate in different artistic fields, creating a link between the contemporary and traditional.
Her approach to her heritage takes on a critical and innovative form. In a poetic sense, the “griot” has the power to trigger in each of us the need for introspection. He absorbs the words of the ancestors to shape them with notions of his times into a “ball of grease” that he leaves in the belly of the passer-by. In a practical sense, he breaks the commonplace rhythm, by inserting subtle incidents, integrating his part of eternity.