Curated by Koyo Kouoh and Dulcie Abrahams Altass
With works by:
Thierno Seydou Sall
Between the years of 1974 and 1985, while working on his 19 volume text The History of Sensibility, the late German writer and ethnologist Hubert Fichte travelled several times to Dakar. Accompanied by photographer Leonore Mau, he explored the possibilities for a new way of inhabiting and engaging with a world in which he had found himself to be on the margins. These preoccupations led him to the psychiatric unit of Fann hospital in Dakar, in the midst of avant-garde experiments into anti-psychiatry where local methods of healing – the ndoep and pinth in particular – dominated.
Fichte also interviewed and wrote extensively on a young painter, Papisto Boy, whose large scale public murals in Dakar’s suburbs bring together scenes from Senegalese mythology, global popular culture and religious iconography in a complex and profound orchestra of syncretic self-identification. For Fichte, Papisto Boy’s work was the ultimate creative expression of the palimpsest of inter-textuality that he saw as necessary for becoming truly post-colonial, wherein otherness and marginality are recognised as part of the universal human condition, and attempts to single out a particular Other are thus rendered null and void.
In response to Fichte’s call to action from 1980, “I beg you to build walls, so that Pape Samb can paint them!” and the rarity of Papisto Boy’s remaining murals in the rapidly shifting urban landscape of Dakar, this exhibition lends its walls to the archives of this pioneering artist. Incorporating photography, video and drawing, it is a dialogue amongst artists whose own histories are entangled with those of Papisto and Fichte and who have a practice that actively mines positions of marginality and sensibility, predominantly working in the public sphere. In doing so, they continue the quest of Papisto Boy and Hubert Fichte for a truly inclusive humanity.
This exhibition is organised on the occasion of the multi-stage project Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology under the artistic direction of Diedrich Diedrichsen and Anselm Franke, artistically revisiting and translating The History of Sensibility in a number of the locations that feature in the book.
12/10 - 17h30 Book launch of Puukare by Thierno Seydou Sall
19/10 - 17h30 Parlons Sénégalaiseries ; Société et marginalité (Let’s Speak Senegalese ; Society and Marginality) organised in collaboration with Ibou Fall
The exhibition and public events are realized as part of the project Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology, a cooperation between Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, supported by S. Fischer Stiftung and S. Fischer Verlag.
Photo: Fresque murale par Papisto Boy, Dakar, 1976
© bpk / S. Fischer Stiftung / Leonore Mau