Tete Azankpo, Le Couple Elegant (Detail), 120 cm X 120 cm Wood, painted canvas, 2022. Courtesy of Nubuke Foundation
LA FEMINITE DU M.A.L.E is a collective exhibition which features four unique Togolese visual artists Yao Metsoko, Tete Azankpo, Laka and Emmanuel Sogbadji. The title- a play on the exhibition’s theme- is also partially an amalgamation of the initials of each artist’s name in a bid to acknowledge their failure to exhibit alongside a female colleague even as they present works that accentuate femininity.
Each artist’s expression is a homage to and a medium through which he visualises femininity, highlighting the major significance that masculinity confers on femininity. The inescapable character of femininity is revealed through Metsoko’s larger-than-life look at women transported by the zemidjan, motorcycle-taxis of Lomé, or through Azankpo’s compositions, made from the scraps of enamel basins of housewives, which have been part of the identity of the African woman since the 1960s. It is also experienced through Laka’s masks which seem to transpose their perpetual search for the infinite, thus evoking the eternal feminine, and again, through the work of Emmanuel Sogbadji, where the Egou dance, traditionally reserved for men according to the codes of patriarchy, is performed by women in trance under their togas, thus conferring a purely feminine grace.
This exhibition, LA FEMINITE DU M.A.L.E by Metsoko, Azankpo Camille, Laka and Emmanuel Sogbadji, all Togolese by origin, is a materialisation of their common goal: to pay homage to the knowledge and practice of Togolese visual artists beyond the borders of Togo and captivate the interest of the international sphere of fine arts.
This landmark exhibition is the first to be held by Nubuke Foundation with artists from neighbouring Togo.