Today, the visual sense predominates our ways of imagining the world that surrounds us. Contemporary societies are defined by an incessant flow of images whereas the unmanifest has been weeded out of the collective imaginaries, and the spiritual dimension has been dismissed from contemporary concerns. By imposing its "universa"” codes and standards, the West relegated the unmanifest to the bottom of its heap. However, today's Western societies show an emerging quest for spirituality and manifold attempts to reintegrate the unmanifest into everyday life.
The exhibition "Invisible" is an invitation to re-learn to perceive beyond the margins of the visible. The presented works offer a dialogue between artistic strategies, each of which integrates unmanifested spiritual dimensions in its own way, by focusing on practices of rituals and myths rooted in everyday life's material realities.
If we consider examples of contemporary realities on the African continent, the dialogue between spiritual and material dimensions has at times been collisive, but it has never broken off. The current challenge is to inscribe this coexistence in a dynamic continuity without allowing ourselves to be imprisoned in an outdated, traditionalist vision of an (often self-) exoticised Africa. In his essay "Reinventing African Modernity", published in 2017, Blondin Cissé suggests an approach of reconnecting to broken heritage: "At stake is no longer the question of imprisoning oneself in the dilemma of oneself and the other, nor whether to embrace the outline of a conquering and alienating Western modernity or not, but to deploy a real strategy of emancipation." This strategy unfolds through reappropriating spiritual traditions and interweaving them into contemporary realities, channeling the relation of the visible to the invisible.
Originally produced for the "Dakar Biennale 2018", the exhibition "Invisible" has been adapted to the context of the Berlin based ifa-Galerie Berlin with new works responding to its research and exhibition programme "Untie to Tie". This transdisciplinary programme reflects on the mental and territorial colonial legacies in contemporary societies and their impact on movement, migration and environment.