In his curatorial statement, artistic director Abdellah Karroum (founder of L’appartement 22 in Rabat) explains: For a long time, artists working in Benin have been implicated in society by producing artworks and by creating concrete interventions. In dialogue with the cultural scene of Benin, the international exhibition, “Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen,” brings together existing artworks and new projects produced for the exhibition.
Whereas the new productions respond directly to the question of the “artist as citizen,” the existing artworks selected by the Curatorial Delegation interrogate the context of the exhibition and broader international artistic tendencies in order consider both how they are formulated by the artists and the terms of their presentation. The cartography of an exhibition is defined by the spaces of action where artist-citizens intervene, and is completed by the correspondence of the artworks with the spaces from which they have emerged. Meschac Gaba’s Musée d’Art de la Vie Active, MAVA (Museum of Art for the Active Life) is an emblematic example included in Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen.
The process of selecting artworks is conceived in conversations between members of the Curatorial Delegation and international artists including Adel Abdessemed, Edwige Aplogan, Aston, Ismaïl Bahri, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Gabriella Ciancimino, Nestor Da, Adrien Missika, Raqs Media Collective, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Tomás Colaço, Pélagie Gbaguidi, Dor Guez, Camille Henrot, Meschac Gaba, Dominique Zinkpè, Otobong Nkanga, Syl Pâris Kouton, Younès Rahmoun, Tchif, Jean-Paul Thibeau, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Vincent+Feria, and others.