ZAM Reporter

Stevenson Gallery presents Thierry Oussou

Image: 'You can divide the apple but not the word', 2018, Mixed media on paper 151.5 x 382.5cm. Image ©Thierry Oussou. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

‘Before It Is Completely Gone’ - a solo exhibition by Thierry Oussou, his first with Stevenson gallery, opens in Johannesburg on Saturday February 10, 10am – 1 pm. Oussou will give a walkabout of his exhibition on Friday 9 February at 11am. The exhibition is on view until 16 March 2018.

Described as a ‘social archaeologist’, Oussou combines his immediate context with accumulated personal experiences to craft probing yet poetic commentaries with a global perspective. In this exhibition, the artist focuses on the intersecting uncertainties of the South African and Beninese present to imagine the strategies necessary for creating a better future.
In addition to works on paper created from ink, acrylic and oil-bar, Oussou will present three-dimensional installations made from materials found in Johannesburg through chance and exploration. In his handling of detritus, acquired without premeditative action, the artist seeks to steep himself in specificity as the means to observe broader cultural currents.

By considering contemporary debates around decoloniality, cultural preservation and ethical consumption – debates rooted in reorganising the present with the aim of seeing change in the future - Oussou invites an immersive observation and questioning of the present as the means to understand our current flux and imagined futures.

Oussou was born in 1988 in Allada, Benin, where he founded the art studio Yè; he continues to give workshops on arts and visual culture in schools and cultural institutions across Benin. He has participated in residencies at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2015), and Dokoutin, Brussels (2014), and exhibited at the Dakar Biennale in 2014.

Also upcoming in South Africa: Cape Town Art Fair

At Cape Town Art Fair, Stevenson will show work by gallery artists including Moshekwa Langa, Zanele Muholi, Barthélémy Toguo, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Deborah Poynton, Meschac Gaba, Robin Rhode, Viviane Sassen, Wim Botha, Zander Blom, Guy Tillim and Mawande Ka Zenzile. The fair takes place at the Convention Centre, Cape Town from 16 to 18 February.

Image: On Mandela Bridge, 2018, Mixed media on paper 223.5 x 214.5cm. Image © Thierry Oussou. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg
Image: Perfect timing, 2018, Mixed media on paper 151 x 212.5cm. Image © Thierry Oussou. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg
Image: Untitled, 2018, Mixed media on paper 214 x 224cm. Image © Thierry Oussou. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg