Philippe Despoix (ed.), Siegfried Kracauer, et al.

The Past's Threshold

Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer continue


Sonia Arribas, Howard Rouse


Marx, Freud and Lacan continue


Sandra Umathum (ed.), Benjamin Wihstutz (ed.)

Disabled Theater

Jerôme Bel's controversial dance piece as a basis for a discussion of performance and disability continue


Marie-Luise Angerer (ed.), Bernd Bösel (ed.), et al.

Timing of Affect

Epistemologies, Aesthetics, Politics continue


Exhibition: El Hadji Sy. Painting, Performance, Politics

Location: Weltkulturen Museum, Schaumainkai 29, 60594 Frankfurt

In the mid-1970s, in a pioneering move, the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt began collecting contemporary artworks from Africa. Today it has over 3000 paintings, prints and sculptures in its collection. In 1985, the museum commissioned the artist and curator El Hadji Sy (born 1954 in Dakar) with the task of assembling a new group of works of contemporary art from Senegal, thereby initiating a long-term relationship between Frankfurt and Dakar. Thirty years later, as part of its programmatic investigation into its collection, the Weltkulturen Museum is proud to present a retrospective of El Hadji Sy’s career as a painter and cultural activist whose seminal involvement with the museum preceded the so-called global turn of 1989. The exhibition, which is co-curated by Philippe Pirotte, director of the Städelschule and Portikus, combines El Hadji Sy’s installations and paintings – sometimes executed with his bare feet or produced on unusual surfaces such as industrial rice sacking or synthetic kite silk – with his selection of ethnographic objects and artworks by colleagues from Senegal. The exhibition includes loans from international private collections in addition to works from the Weltkulturen Museum. As a founder of the notorious collective Laboratoire AGIT’ART, and a curator of numerous artist-led workshops and studio spaces in Dakar, El Hadji Sy’s interdisciplinary practice represents a ground-breaking position within the context of post-independence Africa.


Press comments

El Hadji Sy

»As a founder of the notorious collective Laboratoire AGIT’art, and a curator of numerous artist-led workshops and studio spaces in Dakar, Sy’s interdisciplinary practice represents a ground-breaking position within the context of post-Independence Africa.« Contemporary And

»El Hadji Sy brought contemporary African art to Europe long before it became trendy. An exhibition in Germany sheds light on artistic self-determination in post-colonial Africa.« Deutsche Welle

»›El Hadji Sy: Painting, Performance, Politics‹ is the first retrospective exhibition of the painter and curator El Hadji Sy, whose interdisciplinary practice represents a conceptual and aesthetic nerve within post-Independence art in Africa.«


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