Contemporary art from Benin, creative fireworks stopping off in Rabat

At the request of the National Museums Foundation (FNM), thehe Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI), hosts, from January 18 to May 15, 2023, the contemporary part of the exhibition “Benin Art of Yesterday and Today: From Restitution to Revelation”.

Morocco is the first country to host the contemporary component of the exhibition focusing on art from Benin, which was unveiled at a press conference held on Tuesday at the MMVI. The choice of “Rabat, City of Light, Capital of Culture” also reflects Morocco’s image of cultural development, in accordance with the enlightened vision of King Mohammed VI.

This exhibition allows both to explore part of the history and heritage of Benin and to discover the contemporary creations of Beninese artists, whose works reveal a variety of textures and mediums, including painting, sculpture and photography that transmit a vision and a sensitivity specific to them and to the culture of Benin.

First of all, I would like to thank His Majesty the King for giving us the opportunity to come and show Benin and the art of Benin here in the Kingdom, in particular at the Mohammed VI Museum in Rabat. I would like to say that the idea of ​​the exhibition, which took place in Benin a year ago, is an idea that follows the restitution of the 26 royal treasures which had been deported to France during the Dahomey war by Colonel Dodds and 29 years later these works were returned by France, in particular by the Musée du Quai Jacques Chirac “, has explained Jean-Michel H. Ambibola Babalola, mMinister of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Benin.

The Head of State, Patrice Talon, wanted us to be able to show the extent to which Benin’s creative genius had remained intact and this is how it was put in place at the diptych exhibition which was the art of Benin yesterday and today: from restitution to revelation. Thus, 34 artists and 106 works were chosen for the contemporary section“, also indicated to MoroccoLatestNews the Beninese minister.

This exhibition, he said, had an exceptional success in 2022 with 221,000 visitors in 60 days, coming from 70 countries, both non-scholars and scholars, museum and gallery specialists. “We felt that it was just legitimate for us to start with the Chérifien Kingdom insofar as it was a tribute and an echo of His Majesty the King’s desire to put culture at the heart of public action.added the minister.

For his part, Mehdi Qotbi, president of the FNM, expressed the joy of the Foundation to welcomethis magnificent exhibition, this exceptional journey on contemporary Benin that I had seen in Cotonou, invited by the President of Benin Patrice Talon, and that he made me visit personally“.

He told me that Morocco is an example to follow and this example is the vision that His Majesty gave and the place he gave to culture as in all modern and developed countries. It is an exhibition that arrived first in Morocco before going to France and other countriesQotbi said.

As for Emo de Madeiros, hasartist participating in the exhibition, coming to take part in this exhibition, which is now roaming, is both a pleasure and an honor, because I believe that it underlines a pan-African collaboration which concerns the global South and which shows that ultimately South-South collaborations can be no only successful but also innovative“.

For his part, Julien Sinzogan, hasBeninese painter revealed to MoroccoLatestNews that the first who made the request saying that he wanted these works to come out of Benin was the president of the Foundation of Museums in Morocco. So that’s already why we’re here. For us it is a great satisfaction“.

“As far as I am concerned, this is the first time that I have set foot in Morocco and I hope not to disappoint Moroccans and that they will really appreciate what Benin, through its artists, is capable of achieve“, he argued.

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