Adji Dieye Culture Lost and Learned by Heart
In our digital epoch, in which we produce and consume more images than ever before in human history, the archive has become emblematic for the rejection of this form of consumption. The C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021 recognizes a more contemporary strategy of extended documentary practice and honors a project based on the editing of existing images. Culture Lost and Learned by Heart by the Italian-Senegalese artist Adji Dieye (b.1991) enters into a critical dialog with a colonial institution like the image archive, which is commonly associated with the visual documentation of history and regarded as the gatekeeper of historical truth.
The project draws on found archival material from the National Archives of Senegal (Archives Nationales du Sénégal), a collection deeply inscribed with the history of French colonial rule. In re-reading this material, the artist deconstructs the hierarchies contained within it. Using additional, present-day visual materials, she further confronts new forms of displacement and exclusion: to what extent does the visual framing of a historical narrative lead to the exercise of political control today?
Adji Dieye (b. 1991, IT/SEN) studied New Technologies for Art at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan and completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her work has been included in international group exhibitions at FOAM Amsterdam (2020), Kunsthalle Wien (2020), as well as the African Photo Biennale in Bamako, Mali (2019) and the Lagos Photo Festival (2017). C/O Berlin is presenting her first institutional solo exhibition. Adji Dieye divides her time between Milan, Zurich, and Dakar.
Emmanuel Iduma (b. 1989, NG) completed a Master of Fine Arts in Art Criticism and Writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York after earning his law degree in Nigeria. In addition to his own writing, such as his traveling book A Stranger’s Pose, and editing, he devotes his time to art criticism, which has been published in ART- News, Art in America, and the British Journal of Photography, and has been featured in publications by Aperture, Artforum, The New York Review of Books and the Walther Collection. Iduma was listed as Apollo International Art Magazine‘s 40 under 40 Africa in 2020 for the broad social impact of his work. He lives in New York and Lagos.