Dorcy Rugamba in Dakar to present her works of art, ‘Les Remains Suprêmes’ | The new times

RENOWNED RWANDAN ARTIST Dorcy Rugamba is in Dakar alongside other collectives and artists like Nathalie Vairac, Malang Sonko, François Sauveur, Marc Soriano and Michael Makembe to present his works of visual art nicknamed ‘Le Reste Supreme’ at Dak’Art African Contemporary in progress biennial of art 2022.

The Dak’Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art, held in Dakar, Senegal, is a major biennial of contemporary art in Africa and one of the ten major biennials in the world.

The “Les Restes Suprêmes” exhibit, which translates to Supreme Remnants, kicked off May 21 and will run through June 10 at the Museum of Black Civilization in Dakar.

The project, which revolves around a space of more than 300 square meters, according to Rugamba, aims to question the role played by African art in the construction of a Eurocentric vision of the world.

“My objective is to question the use of these masks in the different rituals and stages with which they have been associated throughout history”.

“What is exhibited in this work is not the mask but the museum institution itself. The installation, in its plasticity as in the story that carries it, seeks to probe the social function and ideology of the Western ethnographic museum, and to trace the course of its history,” said Rugamba, the mastermind behind the exposure.

Through the look and the memory of the mask, Rugamba seeks to cover these places and those who animate them with an offbeat and fantastic look, which highlights their most salient points.

“The Supreme Remnants seek to deconstruct the very framework of museums, by exposing the viewer to the ideological charge of the walled objects”.

“Each gallery represents both a real, physical place but also a mental space. The visitor evolves in a hallucinated vision, projected by the eyes of the mask. The mask takes the visitor, backwards from history, on a journey through time and space, which traces their journey from Africa to Europe,” he added.

For the Dakar Biennale, Rwanda Arts Initiative collaborated and co-produced the great form of Les Suprêmes Remnants with the Compagnie de la Lune, created and staged in Dakar by actress Nathalie Vairac.

More than 60 craftsmen, technicians and artists worked for a month and a half to build the installation which covers more than 300 square meters.

Dorcy Rugamba is a Rwandan director, actor and playwright. He obtained the first prize in dramatic art from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Liège. He was first trained in performing arts by his father Cyprien Rugamba, poet, choreographer, composer and creator of the National Museum of Rwanda.

Based between Brussels and Kigali, Dorcy Rugamba co-wrote the piece ‘Rwanda 94’ in 1999 and founded the Ateliers Urwintore in 2001, a space for contemporary creation in Kigali.

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Christopher S. Washington