Interview // Hyacinthe Ouattara

Posted by Julie Mathon on

Featured in our exhibition dedicated to works on paper "Dialogues, techniques mixtes sur papier", Hyacinthe Ouattara's practice does not have any limit. As a painter, a performer and a drawer, he tells us today more about his creative process and the way he conceives the practice of drawing.

Hyacinthe Ouattara, Gestes et Spontanéités

Hyacinthe Ouattara, Gestes et Spontanéités #4, 2019, 30x40 cm

Acrylic and felt pen on paper

Your body of work has no limit, including installations, sculpture, performance, and painting. How do you consider drawing inside your practice? 

For me, drawing and its practice are part of the act of doing. It’s an experimental practice. I consider every single line as drawings, painting, sculpture, volumes. 

The space in which I work is not a space defined or predefined by a medium. I would say that “everything is inside everything.” As I consider that “everything is inside everything”, I switch from one medium to another. I switch from one material to another. And then, it’s in these meanders, in this complete chaos, and this gesture, that I find myself. I face difficulties to define things. I draw from elements surrounding me and I assemble them. I like the contrasted aspect of elements. I like taking wood and putting it together with fabric. I like taking paper and putting it together with thread. I like the difference. I like everything that is quirky. I fight against the fact of having to fit in a frame and a box. I permanently fight to get away from this all the time. It’s a constant struggle. I aim at questioning all the things surrounding me, all what we use to hear and the meaning we use to give to the words: drawing, painting or sculpture. I try to deconstruct all of this at the same time and to find them back naturally. Like if by asking myself, elements born in the creative space. 

In your work, drawing does not aim to prepare an artwork. Has it always been the case? 

There is no guideline in my work. I used to draw a lot. I also use to paint with what is called “industrial paint.” Then, I started to get away from it because it was, for me, like an unconscious jail. Finally, when I started to question and get away from this, I went towards new horizons. I navigate in all those fluids. My practice cannot be defined because the space itself cannot be defined.

You feel free to mix mediums in your works on paper, using a ballpoint pen, felt pen, ink… How do you harmonize all those tools?

I put all of this in an immaterial and not classifiable context. It is possible to draw with thread. Perforating paper is also a way to draw. The act of drawing is a spontaneous relation to gesture. I’m interested in catching the emotion.