The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

Expression(s) décoloniale(s) #3 – Château des ducs de Bretagne, Musée d’histoire de Nantes, France

from 13/05/2023 to 12/11/2023

DECOLONIZE YOUR THOUGHT, GAZE, AND IMAGINATION A different perspective on our collections

In a moment when we are rethinking the history of Humanity as an interconnected one on a global scale, it is essential to point out that many of the objects and documents on display in museums today are intrinsically imbued with a colonial perspective. In an attempt to understand exactly how these pieces were seen when they were acquired, to distance ourselves from them, to question them and measure their impact on us – both in what we know and how we imagine things – the Musée d’histoire de Nantes, as part of the third edition of Expression(s) décoloniale(s), has once again invited an historian and an artist from the African continent to dialogue with the museum’s collections. Internationally renowned Cameroonian artist Barthélémy Toguo will invest the museum’s rooms with his work, which shows an unfailing commitment to questioning the major issues of our time, while also establishing a dazzling relationship between past and present. Themes exploring the fundamental imbalances of the world we live in, the structural imbalances of exchange that characterize it, and the inequal opportunities and multiple discriminations resulting from them, make his work eminently contemporary and political. Questions revolving around cultural memory are also present in his work, but do not prevent a celebration of the fundamental power of life, as vigorous as it is unexpected. Prolific and generous, Toguo will present some twenty works throughout the Musée d’Histoire de Nantes’ permanent collection, adding a new imperative to this year’s edition: the need to act.

In the spirit of hospitality, Toguo wanted to associate five artists with this year’s edition at the Musée d’Histoire de Nantes. Kara Walker (USA), Rosana Paulino (Brazil), Monica Toiliye (Democratic Republic of Congo), Jean-François Boclé (Martinique) and Moreira Chonguiça (Mozambique) have come to join him. Painters, video artists, sculptors or performers, each of them has found their place in the museum’s spaces, and their resonance with history.

Curator of the event: Krystel Gualdé (scientific director of the Musée d'Histoire de Nantes)
Link to the exhibition website