Abidjan „The impact of street art performance“
Abidjan. A capital city of resourcefulness, its inhabitants rushing, time is limited. In the street, they have to earn their daily bread. Street vendors, djosseurs de nama , cabin managers, those who braid hair, or sell food; you will not see these personalities in an art gallery or a theater performance.
It's a fact. General thinking reserves the art for the elite, rich or intellectual, who are expected to be more interested in questions of aesthetics. So is this domain subject to a prejudice that is fed by the actual complex of people who do not dare to enter into an environment called "reserved"?
Maybe art should be decentralized in Abidjan. If the public does not approach it, then it should come up to them. Artistic creation in urban public space then becomes the solution.
Note, however, that to some extent, it already exists in some form: monuments and other sculptures and paintings dressing the road infrastructure of the city. This art belongs to Abidjan decor, to the point that, unlike artistic performances, it could escape the eye of a population that is in a rush. Regarding performances on the other hand, they mainly take place within and can escape the attention of the general public.
Artists, but also art promoters, have come to understand this. Art is not the preserve of any social class. It does not necessarily require understanding but rather sensitivity. The population of the street is as capable as the elites to appreciate it.
Today, moving from slam scenes to photo expositions, through dance festivals, art is gradually losing its reserve.
What then is the goal of such an exercise?
Alain Serges Agnessan, member of the Collectif au nom du slam says that artistic performance in the street benefits the artist as well as the public. By producing slam shows in the streets of "Adjamé liberté", a popular district of Abidjan, they intend to popularize their art in order to make it known. For the spectator, this performance is an opportunity to discover an art, an artist, and maybe a vocation.
Moustafa Chaeteli, initiator of Flash Abidjan, on his part organises outdoor photo-exhibitions that allow passersby to be more open to the idea of a photographer who would take photos in the street to meet the needs of a report or an exhibition. Flash Abidjan is also an opportunity for the artist to confront his art with a rather homogeneous but especially objective public.
On the occasion of Afrik Urban Art, the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan made dancers parade the streets of Cocody, in order to share the passion for dance and scenography the public. Street Art and performance is therefore a good way of sharing and exchange.But how do we effectively use this space?
Alain Serges asserts that, "The artist needs to examine the location. When one wants to occupy public space, one has to be aware that this space becomes a stage to be exploited with its realities."
What will an artistic performance achieve if it is not adapted to its audience?