El Hadji Sy was born 1954 in Dakar and studied Fine Art at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dakar. As a painter, curator, and cultural activist, El Hadji Sy’s interdisciplinary practice represents a pioneering model within the context of post-Independence Africa. Exhibited internationally as a painter since the late-1970s and hailed by the late Senegalese poet and President, Léopold Sédar Senghor, he is equally known for his rebellious attitude towards state cultural policy. In his capacity as artist and activist, El Hadji Sy co-founded the avant-garde performance group Laboratoire AGIT’art, was the lead instigator of the international artist-led Tenq workshops and Villages des Arts in Dakar, and a key collaborator of the interventionist group Huit Facettes. Between 1985-89, he was commissioned by the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt to develop a new collection of Senegalese art and to co-edit a critical anthology on visual practice in Senegal. In the mid-1990s, his work as artist-curator was presented at the Whitechapel Gallery London and Konsthalle Malmö in Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, and he took part in several international exhibitions. Most recently, for the 31st Bienal of São Paulo, Sy developed a 16-metre-long painting-installation to be activated by dancers on the theme of marine archaeology.
Philippe Pirotte *1972, is a Belgian art historian, critic, curator of numerous international exhibitions and since 2014 Rector of Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule Frankfurt am Main. He studied Art History at Ghent University. In 1999 he co-founded the art center objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, from 2005 to 2011, he was Director of Kunsthalle Bern and since 2012 he is Adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. As a writer, Pirotte contributed a.o. to Nka – Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Afterall magazine.
Die Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt.