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Distributed for DIAPHANES

El Hadji Sy

Painting, Performance, Politics

Distributed for DIAPHANES

El Hadji Sy

Painting, Performance, Politics

El Hadji Sy: Painting, Performance, Politics offers the first art-historical survey on the multidimensional work of Senegalese artist, curator, and cultural activist El Hadji Sy. Spanning thirty years of his practice as a painter, performance artist, and founder of numerous artists’ collectives and workshops in Dakar (Laboratoire AGIT’ART, Tenq, and Village des Arts), it provides unprecedented insight into the conceptual and aesthetic framework of a major living artist and curator from West Africa.

With newly commissioned essays and interviews by Hans Belting, Clémentine Deliss, Mamadou Diouf, Julia Grosse, Yvette Mutumba, Philippe Pirotte, and Manon Schwich, the book is presented in a bilingual English-German edition and also contains unique archival material, including manifestos, documents, and over four hundred illustrations.

408 pages | 300 color plates, 100 halftones | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2015

Art: Art--General Studies


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Praise for the exhibition
"El Hadji Sy brought contemporary African art to Europe long before it became trendy. An exhibition in Germany sheds light on artistic self-determination in postcolonial Africa."

Deutsche Welle

Praise for the exhibition
"El Hadji Sy: Painting, Performance, Politics is the first retrospective exhibition of the painter and curator El Hadji Sy, whose interdisciplinary practice represents a conceptual and aesthetic nerve within post-Independence art in Africa."


"As a founder of the notorious collective Laboratoire AGIT'art, and a curator of numerous artist-led workshops and studio spaces in Dakar, El Hadji Sy’s interdisciplinary practice represents a ground-breaking position within the context of post-Independence Africa."

Contemporary And

Table of Contents

Clémentine Deliss
Yvette Mutumba
El Hadji Sy: Painting, Performance, Politics
Clémentine Deliss
The artwork becomes a socialized object, enhanced and embellished by the community
El Hadji Sy in conversation with Julia Gross
Dancing in and out of painting
Philippe Pirotte
El Hadji Sy and the quest for a post-négritude aesthetics
Mamadou Diouf
Brothers in arms: Laboratoire AGIT’ART and Tenq in the 1990s
Clémentine Deliss
Between Frankfurt und Dakar: The passion of two pioneers
Yvette Mutumba
El Hadji Sy in conversation with Hans Beting
Cardiology of a life’s work
Manon Schwich
Image Index
El Hadji Sy: Biography
Contributors’ biographies
Selected reading

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