It was a veritable Parcours culturel et artistique in the 3em Arrondissement, and the neighborhoods of Menilmontain & Belleville this weekend. The troisième proposed “Nomads 2010,” which seemed to be in the spirit of the summer street fair, but in this case it was not so much on the street as it was inside the galleries, boutiques, and bolangeries. My participation was limited to sampling candies, cookies, and hot-cocoa offered by the participating restaurants, to passers-by. What I’d really ventured out of the atelier to see where the Saturday openings in the neighborhood surrounding the Pompidou:
Gallerie Agnes B. : “Bon Séjour,” by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré . Once in a great while you get to see a show like this–one that reminds you why you started down this art-making path in the first place. From the press release, here’s a bit of information about this man:
Hors de tout système, Bouabré nous ramène à l’origine en compilant les transformations poétiques et matérielles du monde. Depuis sa vision du 11 mars 1948, Bouabré a compris que son rôle de poète était de révéler la matière. Bouabré est Nadro, celui qui n’oublie pas. Il est poète, écrivain ; conteur, chercheur, rechercheur, inventeur ; releveur, révélateur ; penseur, religieux, pacifiste ; pédagogue, archiviste, « scientiste » ; dessinateur, artiste ; dernier des encyclopédistes.
Outside of all systems, Bouabré takes us back to the origin, in compiling the poetic and material transformations of the world. Since his vision from the 11th March 1948, Bouabré has understood his role as poet was to elevate the matter. Bouabré is Nadro, one who never forgets. He is a poet, writer, storyteller, researcher, inventor, levitater, revelator, thinker, religious, pacifist, pedagogue, archivist, scientist, drawer, artist, last of the encyclopediasts.
ah…and because I can’t resist, here’s more information about him & his life, translated from agnes b’s website:
born: 1923, lives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
THE ALPHABET Bété:
To find on the scene of human life a “writing” specifically African, that is my drawing. The alphabet is the incontestable pillar of the human language. It is the crucible wherein lives the memory of man. It is a very effective remedy against forgetting, formidable factor of ignorance. The alphabet works in favor for the conservation of human knowledge. The African must be welcomed in all cultural circles if he nourishes himself deeply on the idea of the foundation of a system specifically African or of the Black world. This here is my own device and it’s why I insist on the presentation of the Alphabet Bété. The Bété is Ivoirien, African and man of the world. This syllabic alphabet is suitable for reproducing all human sounds, it is universal. In 1952, Bruly returned to Bekora, a little village in the Bété country, where one can find a variety of little red and black stones, probably of natural origin, but traditionally considered to be supernatural. These stones are presented in a wide variety of forms and bear “geometric” drawings. Bruly studies them, concluding that they would be the vestige of an ancient writing and applied himself to justifying his opinion.
If these stones had really formed a writing, they must have been able to symbolize a name of a thing or a person. I set myself about naming the stones of diverse forms, beginning with the name of my father Gbeuly. I have de-composed the sounds Gbeu and Ly. Gbeu was a axe and Ly a spear. In observing the stones, it appeared to me that the axe and the spear were rendered on the stones like photos. I drew them in graphic syllables. Since then I have searched the faces of these stones for the equivalences between the signs and the sounds and I then indexed (them), revealing and systematizing nearly 450 syllables and drawings and as many monosyllabic pictograms. This new African Champollion, specifies that he is not the creator, rather the “discoverer” of what he calls the Ivoirien Alphabet. Finally, to prove the immediate interest and universality of his alphabet, he puts it to use, transcribing first the texts of the Bété tradition in their original language, then the stories, poems, pages from encyclopedias, political discourse in French written in his manuscripts. Each day, Bruly writes his thoughts on a chalkboard. Thus, numerous visitors can be initiated in this “specifically” African writing. (text by Magnin & Escudier)