iyEye of Benin – Comparing views on rituals

Greenhouse, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy
10 May 2017 - 03 Sep 2017

iyEye of Benin

iyEye of Benin

Microclima and Kulturforum Sud-Nord Cotonou jointly conceived the project “iyEye of Benin. Comparing views on rituals”. Several artists will present their perceptions on spirituality and rituality in video installations.

Five documentaries are shown that Achille Mauri made in the mid-seventies, exploring  rituals and religious ceremonies of the former Dahomey (now Benin). Simultaneously the videos by seven contemporary artists from Benin state their perceptions on spirituality and rituality of their country and the diaspora. iyEye, the title of the event, refers to the most powerful priestess, seen as the spiritual mother of Benin.

By juxtaposing Achille Mauri’s documentaries filmed in Benin with recent video works by beninese artists, iyEye of Benin highlights the diversity of individual approaches when capturing rituals. These videos show the malleability of West-African spiritual practice, its “open-endedness and fluctuation” which Dana Rush defines as constituents of an “unfinished aesthetic”. The works are displayed in the Greenhouse of the Biennale Gardens, a glasshouse built in 1894 for the first Art Biennale.


Ishola Akpo – Dimitri Fagbohoun – Pélagie Gbaguidi – Ines Johnson-Spain – Achille Mauri – Thierry Oussou – Totché – Séraphin Zounyekpe and participants of Idrissou Mora-Kpai’s video workshop in Cotonou 2014.


Paolo Rosso with Stephan Köhler and Georges Adéagbo.


Elena Agudio (Savvy Contemporary Berlin) and Gigi Pezzoli.

Greenhouse of Giardini, Viale Giuseppe Garibaldi 1254, 30122 Venice


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