The View From Here | School of Art Collection and Galleries | Kent State University

The View From Here

Contemporary Perspectives from Senegal

Featuring work created since 2010, this exhibition offers a wide panorama of art practice from the perspective of artists—individuals who uncover aspects of their own identity as they reflect on contemporary life in Senegal. Collectively, their work acts as a portrait of how one African country can inspire creative minds, balancing universal questions with local characteristics. 

À travers des œuvres créées depuis 2010, cette exposition offre un panorama des pratiques artistiques dont les perspectives font remonter la découverte des aspects divers du soi tout en réfléchissant à la vie au Sénégal. Ces œuvres en collectivité font un portrait des moyens par lesquels un pays africain peut inspirer les esprits créatifs, mettant des questions universelles en équilibre avec les caractéristiques régionales. 

About the exhibition:

Exhibition Venues Curatorial Team

Artists: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Manthia Diawara, Khalifa Dieng, Ibrahima Dieye, Camara Guèye, Pap Souleye Fall, Fatou Kandé Senghor, Amalia Ramanankirahhina, Henri Sagna, Fally Sene Sow, and Ibrahima Thiam.

Curator: Joseph L. Underwood

Curatorial Assistants: Abby Hermosilla, Rachel Lieberman and Brooke Pandrea 

For any inquiries, please contact curator Joseph Underwood at junder18@kent.edu

Header image: Camara Guèye (b. 1968, Bignona), Village Promenade, 2012, Acrylic, india ink and pen on paper, mounted on canvas, 200 cm x 150 cm

Themes

 Ibrahima Dieye, Cry For Help 2, 2018

Urban Textures

Despite globalizing trends, cities have largely avoided homogenization by maintaining unique characteristics even as certain aspects of urbanism feel familiar. For those who have visited a particular place before—say, Dakar, Chicago, or Amsterdam—just traveling through that urban environment can evoke physical memories of that city in particular, and other metropolises in general. In this section, the artists explore the breadth and limits of individual perspectives, demonstrating how narrow, or attuned, the view can be.

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, École d'été (Saint-Louis, Île Sud) 2016

Icons and Symbols

Icons and symbols permeate our visual landscape. Sometimes the symbols are so ubiquitous that we tend to not even notice them—like a star player’s soccer jersey, the green neon cross of a pharmacy, or the national flag. In this section, some artists—like Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Manthia Diawara—look to historic figures who have become icons of philosophy and politics for Senegal, both regionally and internationally.  Other artists, like Amalia Ramanankirahina, engage with human constructions— monuments, towers, memorials—to address the scale and permanence given to particular people and ideals.

Ibrahima Thiam, Maam Coumba Bang series, 2018

Negotiated Identities

Defining the self can be a fraught exercise for 21st century individuals. One might feel caught between ethnic pride and strident nationalism, a sense of unbalance between family expectations and economic realities, or the anxiety of owning two passports.  The artists in this section consider strategies for how we might rectify labels that seem contradictory, unpack problematic characterizations, and find value in the ensuing conversations—even if no resolution manifests.