Maison Ousmane Sow, Yoff, Dakar, Senegal 05 May 2018
The house of Ousmane Sow (1935-2016), senegalaise sculptor, Dakar, 2007.
On May 5th 2018, the Maison Ousmane Sow will open in Dakar. It will house the works of the artist, who died on December 1st 2016: the African series, the series dedicated to the great men who marked his life, small Nuba sculptures, original works and unfinished works.
Ousmane Sow called this house, in which he lived until his death, The Sphinx because for him it anticipated the series he was planning to create on the Egyptians. The head, arms and back of the Sphinx are represented symbolically in an architecture that is resolutely modern, which he had designed as a model, as a sculpture, as an individual work of art.
That was in 1991. The house was finished in 1999, the year he completed his Battle of the Little Big Horn. This series consisted of thirty-five pieces that were to be exhibited on the corniche at Dakar before moving to the Pont des Arts, in Paris, to join the African series for a retrospective that attracted three million visitors.
While creating that series, he produced the tiles for his house with his own hands and covered the walls with the same materials used for his sculptures. In other words, there is a perfect match between the works and the place, which could soon join the list of the world’s legendary houses.
Visitors will move freely through a maze of rooms lined with verandas as they discover the works, memories and the studio just as the artist left it.
Ousmane Sow (1935-2016)
According to Ousmane Sow’s wish, in the museum he hoped for, the rooms will bear the names of his father, Moctar Sow, and of his friends: Mustapha Dimé, Boris Dolto, Julien Jouga, Souleymane Keita, Ndary Lo, Iba Mbaye and Gérard Senac.
Because, over the years, the offices of Eiffage became the second “home” of Ousmane Sow and because an unbreakable bond of friendship existed between its Chairman, Gérard Senac, and the artist, it is in this magnificent location, with its colonial architecture, that an exhibition will echo the opening of the Maison Ousmane Sow during the Dakar Biennale.
A photo-video installation by Béatrice Soulé (created in July 2007 at Arles, in the Chapelle du Méjean with Actes Sud on the occasion of Rencontres de la photographie) will immerse visitors in the world of Ousmane Sow and take them on a journey relating the various episodes of the bond that tied the artist to the company from 1999 to 201
Some fifty photos, embedded in multi-colored tiles, reflect images of the house in gestation and of the artist filmed in the privacy of his studio during the creation of The Battle of the Little Big Horn: a year’s work on eleven horses and twenty-four characters…
Sounds of the ocean and the winds, bird song and the rumble of airplanes, sounds of the studio, percussion and piercing flutes accompany the hallucinatory spectacle of Ousmane Sow in full creative flow.
Two pieces from The Battle of the Little Big Horn series will be shown at the exhibition center: The Fallen Cavalryman and The Wounded Indian.