Métamorphoses

23.12.2021 - 26.02.2022

An exhibition by Stella Melbye-Konan, Curatorial assistance by Stella Eissner

The duo exhibition "Metamorphoses" presents new works by artists Yannick Ackah and Ngoye on 230m2 in Jungfernstieg in the Melbye-Konan gallery from 23 December 2021 to 26 February 2022.

The motif of metamorphosis was coined by the Greek poet Ovid, among others, who meant "figures transformed into new bodies". It is thus a process that leads to the abandonment of the old form and the appearance of something new, different from the old form. But does this clear demarcation between old and new, subject and object, really exist? Can we not rather speak of a perceptible form in constant evolution?

In Ngoye's works, it is precisely this question that is posed in terms of images. His series of aligned faces create a coherent dialogue in the formulation of their content and the expressive expressions of their interlocking faces. The figures that seem to merge into each other, with shifting mimics and gestures, make clear delineation impossible, opening up the fullness of becoming to the viewer.

"Every person I talk to about societal issues does not show their true identity. These masks we wear hide what lies behind: the real person. Because we live in a certain distrust. That's why I started painting masks and faces: We are constantly changing our expressions and facial expressions: with the messages we receive, the experiences we have, the conversations we have. Through my work, I place myself in front of a mirror and ask myself who I am and how I adapt to the changing environment: do I remain who I think I am ?" (Ngoye)

Yannick Ackah too recognises metamorphosis as a fundamental existential characteristic of human beings. Under titles such as 'Here All Is Round', Ackah undertakes a pictorial breakdown of facial movements, thus abstractly representing the processual nature of facial expression and the body. Ultimately, however, it is temporality, an essential component of metamorphosis, that masks the constant change and makes it comprehensible only in retrospect.

"I see in African sculptures a beauty, a challenge, a complete story, a great mystery that I try to solve through my work with lines, brush strokes and also with colour." (Ackah)

Melbye-Konan Gallery has represented the artwork of Ackah and Ngoye since its inception and is pleased to open the duo show on Saturday 23 December.