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Memory Devices: An Exhibition By Cheikh Ndiaye

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Senegalese multidisciplinary artist, Cheikh Ndiaye’s project titled “Memory Devices” has been on view in Project Space Abidjan since June 22nd, 2023, and will conclude on September 2nd, 2023.

In this project presented by Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Cheikh Ndiaye takes a different route from his previous series where he featured West African cinemas as a medium for social and historical reading. Instead of just cinemas, he is also looking at churches — a movement from the exterior to the interior. With this project, the artist takes a trip from the present through space and time to observe images from the past and to capture the details and complexity of the West African landscape.

Image courtesy of Le Monde

Ndiaye’s artistic practice is especially focused on architecture and urbanism. His work is guided by offering a unique perspective on what would often be considered ordinary or casual through his paintings, photographs, films, and installations. He takes old obsolete objects and breathes new life into them. The world Ndiaye creates always mirrors his exploration of the street. He paints scenes that create openings and appear to cut through solid, heavy concrete walls. His arrangement of everyday objects transports the viewer to far-off times. 

Cheikh Ndiaye’s art is characterized by his use of matter and his recognition of its range. He seeks to preserve the stories of old things by presenting the idea of the porosity of substances with a connection to otherness while combining his pieces with the notion of deterioration. 

SEL, DÉTAIL CINÉMA CORONA, QUARTIER REUBEUSS, 2021, oil on canvas, 46 1/2 x 46 7/8 in. Image courtesy of Galerie Cécile Fakhoury.

Although he lives and works between Dakar and Prague, Ndiaye’s artistic journey has been marked by various exhibitions and participation in different parts of the world one of which includes his first solo show “Vox Ouezzin” at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury – Dakar, Senegal in 2018. He was invited in 2017 to present Hippocampus – a massive installation – by the Maréchalerie – Centre d’art de l’ENSA in Versailles, France. In 2013 and 2016, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury in Abidjan featured solo exhibitions of his works, named “(In)formal Visitation” and “Faire de la rue un salon d’extérieur” respectively. His art was also showcased in the collective exhibition “Cinémas Africas” at the African Museum in Lyon, France, in 2012.

Ndiaye’s involvement in the art world also extends to numerous group exhibitions. Notably, he participated in the 13th edition of the Havana Biennial in Cuba in 2019. His work was featured in the exhibition “Sanguine Luc Tuymans on Baroque” at the Prada Foundation in Milan, Italy 2018. During the same year, his installations were presented in the international exhibition “L’Heure Rouge” at the 13th Dakar Biennial in Senegal.

CINÉMA LE PARIS, DAKAR, 2021, oil on canvas, 170 x 176 cm. Image courtesy of Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

In 2016, his art was displayed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris for the “Figures” exhibition. He also took part in the “Contours” exhibition during the 12th Dakar Biennial. His work was showcased at the 56th Venice Biennale’s international exhibition “All the World’s Futures” in 2015. He was part of various other exhibitions including those at the Center of Photography in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Galerie Le Manège in Dakar.

Beyond his exhibitions, Cheikh Ndiaye is engaged in academic research and conferences related to the connections between architecture and art. He received the Naturalis Art Temporary Prize in Berlin in 2012 and the Linossier Prize in France in 2008. His artworks have found homes in numerous public and private collections worldwide.


Joy Adeboye is a creative writer and visual storyteller. She is a graduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University. She is currently a Writer for Art News Africa.

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