You are entering the lands of the Prince of Shadows. His Kingdom isn’t ruled by any law except the one of listening to their eyes, led by their feelings. Saïdou Dicko’s works are like music. They unfold through the space and leave the visitors with control and freedom of interpretation. The words do not count but how the melody carries you along. “That’s also what’s important to me. It’s a big part of my job to listen to how people interpret and feel about my work. It’s like music, there’s no translation: you listen, you look and then there you go, no need for interpretation. That’s how I define my little works, like visual music.” Through painted photographs, drawings and works on fabric by Saïdou Dicko, the exhibition The Prince of Shadows mirrors the plurality of the artist’s work. It calls for the imagination and souvenirs of the visitors. If some questions arise, the viewers have to solve the mystery. Saïdou Dicko doesn’t hide any preconceived and universal solution. It is the viewers’ duty to project their personal feelings. A Prince of Shadows, Dicko guide them from one work to another. While they meet from one medium to another, everything is linked: whether it is his childhood through the shadows, the references to the Peul culture and his mother’s embroidery; or the reuse of materials. Dicko’s drawings and works on fabric embody the necessity to reuse what already exists. He plays with materials. Plastic wastes become the substrate of his creations, as well as a source of life from which bouquets of flowers spring. The painted photographs by Dicko echo the photo studios from his childhood. Whilst they made the fame of contemporary African photography with major works by Malick Sidibé, Samuel Fosso and Seydou Keïta, to only quote them, studio photography remains a family moment of sharing. Wearing their best clothes and adopting a spotless smile, they pose in front of a background made of graphical fabrics or views from abroad. If his work is like music, Saïdou Dicko is the maestro. He leads these shadows from his brush strokes and takes us with them to dreamland, on the tracks of our souvenirs.
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