Flowers VII, 2020
UV print on aluminium with cold porcelain flower
CM H 182 W 130
IN H 71.65 W 51.18Certificate of authenticity - Signed by artist
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Flowers VII, 2020
This photograph is part of the first solo show of the artist Owanto at the gallery Sakhile&Me in Frankfurt, Germany (From March 8 to May 20, 2020).
Flowers showcases a series of enlarged archival pictures of a Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) ceremony. The analogue photographs are digitalized, enlarged and printed on aluminium before Owanto veils the violation in the image by removing the sections deemed most private and covering the void with delicate hand-crafted cold porcelain flowers. The flower is a symbolic cover-up that masks the identity of the young girls in the photographs — an identity that was taken away from them — and hides this very loss.
Through the series, Owanto brings to light the complex and contested issues surrounding FGM/C. Often done in discreet initiation ceremonies around the world, it is an age-old ritual that has been used to signify the important transition from childhood to womanhood by curbing sexual desire. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries where FGM/C is concentrated, of which 44 million are under 15 years old. Currently, more than three million girls are at risk for FGM/C annually.
Owanto is a multi-cultural Gabonese artist born in Paris, France. She was raised in Libreville, Gabon, and later moved to Europe to study Philosophy, Literature and Languages at the Institut Catholic de Paris in Madrid, Spain.
Owanto’s multidisciplinary practice emerges from a 30-year career where she explores a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, painting, video, sound, installation and performative works. A practice that enables her to engage with consciousness through the notion of memory, both personal and collective.
In 2009, Owanto represented the Republic of Gabon at the 53rd Venice Biennale with a solo show entitled “The Lighthouse of Memory - Go Nogé Mènè”, being the very first artist from Central Africa to exhibit solo in a National Pavilion. Through the use of archives and found documents her proposal traces the past to shape the future, honouring the title “Go Nogé Mènè” which means “building the future” in her mother tongue. Central to her artistic proposal is the question “OÙ ALLONS NOUS?” (Where Are We Going?). A poetic, omnipresent, important, fundamental and universal probe.
Owanto's interest in memory leads her to construct new utopian worlds while reflecting on the concepts of identity, transformation and evolution. As the daughter of a Gabonese mother and French father, influenced by Africa, Europe, colonialism and the earth, the artist explores cross-cultural and transhistorical dialogues. She seeks to interrogate the meaning of existence and of her personal and shared history.
Her work on this mat...Read more
Sakhile&Me is an international exhibition and research space working with established emerging contemporary artists, curators, critics, and researchers. Founded in 2018 in Frankfurt to intentionally prioritize the African continent and its diasporas, with the goal of drawing attention to contextual specificity in and through art – in content, artistic medium, genre and by investing in the work and development of artists and researchers in solo and small group exhibitions, both on the African continent and abroad, art fair participation, partnerships with other galleries and art institutions.
Sakhile&Me is committed to developing a strong art program that invests in the development of the artists and facilitates educational events that encourage audiences to come to a deeper appreciation and understanding of artistic works. „As we view art as both a platform and a teaching tool, we host artist talks, invite specialists in various fields related to our artists‘ work, and partner with artist residencies, curators and art historians to help increase our artists‘ public exposure and offer them platforms for research and conversation“, to quote the mission statement.
Tuesday: 12pm - 6pm
Wednesday: 12pm - 6pm
Thursday: 12pm - 6pm
Friday: 12pm - 6pm
Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday & Monday: closed