26.08.2022 - 24.09.2022

An exhibition by Stella Melbye-Konan, curatorial assistance by Caecilia Reemtsma and Rena Taeger.

Titled "PERJECIUM", Melbye Konan Gallery will exhibit the works of Yeanzi, an international award-winning artist from Ivory Coast, from August 26 to September 24, 2022, on 400 square meters. Yeanzi was given the great honor of representing Ivory Coast at the Venice Biennale 2022. In the current exhibition, Melbye-Konan Gallery is also showing two works by the artist that were selected for the Biennale.

The title PER-JEC-IUM is composed of the titles of his three main series PERSONA, PROJECTIONS and COLLOQUIUM, which represent a critical examination of the task of human societies to pass on memories. In the exhibition, Melbye-Konan Gallery presents six artworks from his latest series Colloquium.

With 'Persona', the artist questions not only his own personality, but also the role of the individual within society. 'Projections' examines the importance of the community for itself and the individual living in it and the mutual influence, while the third series, 'Colloquium', is dedicated to the aspect of amnesia and deals with the importance of historical memory in the process of building and developing societies and peoples.

Yeanzi refines the aesthetics of his works through the use of various media, outstanding technical execution and thematic expression of his visual language. He incorporates elements of ancient Egyptian culture, its hieroglyphics, traditions, iconography and general history, as well as Bété characters, a traditional script that has its roots in Ivory Coast culture and whose alphabet was designed by artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré in the 1950s.

In synthesis with his unique technique of melting plastic to create faces, he contrasts the millennia-old cultural richness of Africa with the current development of modern societies and the amnesia that comes with it. This density of elements feeds both the complexity and understanding of his work.

Yeanzi's plastic approach is at once historical, memorable, and utopian. He questions the collective memory of peoples and societies, drawing a parallel between people's real experience and the utopia of a memory to be rediscovered. Dieses ist notwendig, um das Ideal einer Gesellschaft zu schaffen, die von dem, was er als "kollektive Amnesie" bezeichnet, zerfressen ist. Die Frage nach der kulturellen Identität der heutigen Gesellschaften und Völker, sowie den in ihnen lebenden Individuen wird dadurch in den Vordergrund gestellt.

"We have developed models that do not correspond to what we are at the moment, what we are becoming. When I speak of collective amnesia, I am talking about the recovery of memory, of a strong identity, of my new model of development (...). We humans do not always act as freely and independently as we might think. Social constructions of culture and identity that determine our actions in everyday life are deeply anchored in our minds." -Yeanzi, 2022