Une odyssée de l'espace: Hyacinthe Ouattara

22 October - 26 November 2022
Through the exploration of matter, Ouattara studies the interactions between individuals and questions the place of human beings in the universe. 

A multidisciplinary artist, Hyacinthe Ouattara acts as a messenger of the intangible. His art conveys the sensitive vibrations of the universe. The mediums are multiple and arise as the free expression of the creative energy flowing within him.


Thus, the solo show Une Odyssée de l'espace embodies the symbiosis between the inspirations and techniques that drive the art of Ouattara. Une odyssée de l'espace explores space-time and questions its components. An allegory of the passing of time, the odyssey that Ouattara composes is a dive into the origins of creation and human relations. It depicts osmosis at the cradle of life or how particles unite in the infinite to emerge from the void and form matter. 


This wandering towards the elsewhere - articulated around a set of paintings, woven dresses, and sculptures - thus questions the sacred links gathering the living. The works lead to a transcending of painting beyond its representation. In this way, Ouattara reinvents the exhibition space as a sensitive journey into the heart of movement. 


Ouattara welcomes the visitor into an artificial forest - Arborescence 2 - composed of six sculptures, combining natural and manufactured elements. The branches, which come from different regions of France, are intertwined with the remnants of everyday life: a coffee machine, a painter's palette, and a cast-iron casserole dish - all covered with cloves. Ouattara reconnects the natural with the cultural - as an anthropic production - in a ritual dimension. The wood, reanimated by the artist, translates the universal sacredness of the tree. For him, "the tree represents the soul, the receptacle, the extension of an ancestral life through its longevity, for the splendour of the world is found in hidden roots." The tree refers to the origins of life and is the first stop in Ouattara's odyssey. Witness to the creation and mutations of the world, the tree links us to the past. It bears witness to the emergence of a composite culture enriched by the stories that are being played out in the universe, in the image of Edouard Glissant's thought of the rhizome.


The ‘Space Odyssey’ imagined by Ouattara thus reflects the fluctuations of the world. In this perspective, the Fractales series unfolds in an ensemble of small canvases inspired by the concept of the same name developed in 1967 by the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot after he observed the Breton coast. A fractal structure characterises the same process on different scales. From snowflakes to the branches of a tree, this phenomenon emerges in the entire living world. While fractals are a phenomenon of fragmentation, they can also lead to a process of expansion: from small to large, from simple to complex. Fractals reflect the ability of matter and living things to self-organise and evolve.


From a thought oriented towards nature, Ouattara leads his audience to reflect on the cultural dimension that cements human relations. In this way, the walls are adorned with three dresses. Like the guardians of the secrets of the universe, they emerge from an assemblage of recycled textiles - metaphors for the social bond, at the foundation of all society. Through the exploration of matter, Ouattara studies the interactions between individuals and questions the place of human beings in the universe. These dresses are part of the Tââfé Fanga series, which means "the power of the loincloth" in Bambara language - the language the most widely spoken in West Africa. The loincloth is imbued with strong symbolism and used to exalt the power and secret feminine strength in ancestral societies. As an object of cult and ostentation, the garment appears as a barrier between the skin and the world. It becomes the messenger of the being it covers. While the dresses made by Ouattara take on different shades of red, they carry within them this organic message directly linked to the interiority of individuals.


The pictorial works punctuating Ouattara's oeuvre are born of his spontaneous gesture. The documentary film directed by Christian Lajoumard - "L'Artiste et l'oeuvre, Hyacinthe Ouattara" - concludes this initiatory voyage and shows the very act of creation. Hyacinthe Ouattara thus reveals himself amid the process, crossing the screen with his ample movement until he materialises the fruit of it in the very heart of the gallery. Symbolically, the exhibition ends with the work created in front of the filmmaker, entitled Fenêtre vers l'Horizon. This window echoes the very definition of painting: "a window open onto the world " - stated in 1435 by the Tuscan theorist Alberti - and reflects the perpetual movement of the world. The end is not an end in itself, but an opening towards the elsewhere.


Une odyssée de l’espace unveils as an invitation to explore the origins of the universe, to better understand the living.