On view at Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi, an arts centre managed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the exhibition LOBI LOBI: Pascale Marthine Tayou presents the works of artist and poet Pascale Marthine Tayou (b. 1966, Nkongsamba, Cameroon), and showcases his interventions that address both the scarcity and excess of resources in our transient, post-colonial environment.
Named after the artist’s poem ‘LOBI LOBI’ (2020), the exhibition seeks to evoke the parallel and cyclical realities of Tayou’s practice that transcends time and territories. Featuring sculptures, mixed media, installation, poetry, and photography, the exhibition highlights the rich paradoxes of consumer and material cultures in the artist’s reformulation of his visual environment.
Working with multimedia that combines craftmanship and found objects, Tayou’s practice reconceptualises the societal, historical, economic, and geographic aspects of modern reality. His colourful yet satirical practice stems from his “play serious” approach to unpacking the post-colonial baggage of his immediate environment. The artist describes his visual environment as a playing field he uses to build ephemeral structures of hybridity that connect nature, the artifact, and the bodily. As an active observer and player of the everyday, Tayou’s artistic process is embedded in the act of accumulation, with means to rearrange, rewire, or rectify the spiritual and material significances of societies.
His assemblages such as Colourful Garden and Home Sweet Home activate alternative methods of hybridity that restructure relations of power and mobility. In other works such as Colourful Calabashes, Colouris, and his chalk frescos, Tayou creates assortments of everyday objects that become visual archives of his childhood and relationship to Cameroon.
This exhibition is accompanied by a children’s section titled BOBO LAND, which leads young visitors into an exploration of the self through the eyes of ‘Bobo,’ Tayou’s persona of a dreaming child discovering and inventing their future. With an affinity to childlike inclinations, Tayou’s art philosophy prompts us to approach the harsher realities of our landscape with mischief, amusement, and make-believe.
LOBI LOBI: Pascale Marthine Tayou is divided into four sections that follow Tayou’s multiplicities of object and language as he navigates human ecologies: The Margin to the Centre, Power Vessels, Fantasia Urbaine, and Playing Field.
Co-curated by Noor Al Mehairbi, Maisa Al Qassimi and Reem Al Hashmi, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with Galleria Continua.
The exhibition will be made available online through a virtual gallery at culturalfoundation.ae.
Press release from Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi