‘Artist as Curator: Collaborative Practices’ Symposium: ‘Artists as Model Engineers: Laboratoire Agit'Art, Tenq and Huit Facettes in Dakar in the 1990s’

Clémentine Deliss

Videos / 20.05.2013

Clémentine Deliss delivers the paper ‘Artists as Model Engineers: Laboratoire Agit’Art, Tenq and Huit Facettes in Dakar in the 1990s’ as a part of the 'Artists as Curator: Collaborative Practices' symposium at the Whitechapel Gallery, 19 April 2013.

Between 1992 and 2002, curator and publisher Clémentine Deliss worked closely with artists lssa Samb (Joe Ouakam) and El Sy (El Hadji Sy), as well as various members of the Dakar-based art collectives Laboratoire Agit'Art, Tenq and Huit Facettes. Together they co-curated exhibitions, organised international workshops and performed at conferences in Dakar, St. Louis du Sénégal, London, Kassel, Malmö and San Sebastian. Characterised by a methodology of social engagement and an acute understanding of ‘communicational abstinence', their collective actions involved social and infrastructural interventions such as inhabiting a Chinese migrant workers' settlement in Dakar, initiating an international artistled workshop in the earliest French colonial grammar school in West Africa, and working between urban and rural contexts. Deliss published the pilot issue of the artists' and writers' organ Metronome in Dakar in 1997, which was presented at the 100 Days of documenta X and included manifestos by the Laboratoire Agit'Art and Factual Nonsense (London), as well as translations of Edouard Glissant and interviews with Mark Sealy (Autograph, London), Penny Siopis (Johannesburg) and Paul Virilio (Paris). Further publications of lssa Samb's writings appear in Metronome no.1 (London, 1997). no.3 (1998, Kunsthalle Basel) and no.7 (2001, Scandinavia). A dialogue between Kan-Si (Huit Facettes), Gardar Eide Einarsson and Superflex is published in Metronome no.4-5-6 (Frankfurt a. M.). In her presentation, Deliss will show visual documents from this period and discuss some of the lead concepts that characterised this collaborative practice.

–Clémentine Deliss, abstract, ‘Artists as Model Engineers: Laboratoire Agit’Art, Tenq and Huit Facettes in Dakar in the 1990s’

Clémentine Deliss is an independent curator, researcher and publisher, and the Director of Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main since April 2010. Her early curatorial work includes 'Lotte or the Transformation of the Object' (Grazer Kunstverein and Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, 1990); 'Exotic Europeans' (Hayward Gallery, London, 1990) and 'Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa' (Whitechapel Gallery and Malmo Konsthall, 1995-6). From 1992 to 1995 she was the artistic director of africa95, a contemporary arts festival coordinated with the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Since 1996 she has produced the writers' and artists' organ Metronome. Since 2003 she has directed Future Academy at Edinburgh College of Art, with worldwide research cells.