Sorry, but your beloved mom is not always right !

Ndayé Kouagou

Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Allemagne


Curator: Kristina Scepanski, invited by Trampoline in 2021


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Trampoline is pleased to support Ndayé Kouagou’s 1st solo exhibition in Germany.

Ndayé Kouagou’s (b. 1992, Montreuil) various practices invariably start from language. This is his primary source material, for which he then finds a wide variety of forms that are always addressed to a counterpart. In the exhibition at Westfälischer Kunstverein, he brings together four video works, three large aluminium sheets with writing on them and a whole series of other objects made of fabric, acrylic glass and aluminium, which are also supplemented with fragments of text.

Kouagou’s artistic practice stems from the process of writing ; he explains how he had been writing about love for a long time and at some point wanted to know whether others felt the same way. How does a text reach its audience ? Out of this question, Kouagou developed a lively performance practice that allowed him to address and confront the audience directly and, above all, to interpret his texts orally. This is how Kouagou – who is self-taught – entered the art world, which he feels can be an exclusive environment on occasion, which is why one of his working principles is that of generosity. He uses this term to summarise his desire for dialogue, openness and enter-tainment, or better still : amusement.

The performances developed over time into videos. This provenance is immediately apparent in them, as they show the artist, or the char-acter he is portraying, in life-size and with a direct view of his audience. We have long been accustomed to this type of approach (at least subconsciously) through our consumption of social media and its influence on the visual aesthetics of our everyday lives : the figure of the influencer, the guru, the coach springs to mind – in short : a figure who knows everything and whom we should therefore copy in order to ameliorate our own lives.

This is also where the exhibition title comes into play : Sorry, your beloved mum is not always right ! – the mother as the first authority in a person’s life, whom one trusts and in whom one has unconditional faith. Once this assumption is challenged, suddenly everything can be questioned. Is everything my neighbour says, or my work colleague, or the guy on TV always true ? What do you accept without reflection from external sources and where do you actually stand yourself on matters ?

Ndayé Kouagou’s special and rare talent is already evident here : the desire to entertain his audience, to be generous and inviting, is in no way accompanied by a loss of depth or sensitivity. This is also one of the artist’s wishes : that the conversations he has with visi-tors through the videos continue to resonate after they have left the exhibition and, indeed, perhaps only then do they really begin.