The artist’s new series of works is situated at the junction of land and sea, perhaps in that area known as the foreshore, sometimes covered or uncovered by the tides, which carry with them the destinies of their travellers and the anonymous memories of their wrecked victims. Kassou Seydou’s paintings also carry these stories, in a meticulous disorder of upside down figures, emerged or immersed, in cold and warm colours, curves and solids. The spectator plunges with him into this plastic jungle, a dreamlike universe to which the eye gradually gets used to, finding signs or guessing a narrative.
From ochre to icy blue, from green to orange, the artist’s palette navigates between land and sea, between jungle and ocean, a space inhabited by fantastic creatures, marine or terrestrial. The characters that populate the artist’s canvases and imagination, slender figures with eternal coloured hairstyles and plastic shoes, question the viewer about the sense of desire, expectation and hope that emanates from the journey. Subtly, Kassou Seydou seems to suggest that the answers must first be found within ourselves, that there is no inner wreck that cannot be solved and thus invites us to cherish the beauty of the chaos dancing within each of us.
Thiaroye, Soumbédioune, Cap Skirring, Djiwalo, so many coastal towns, so many places of departure, whose reverse side would be to be gateways, places of anchorage and of becoming rather than of remembering. Each diptych in this new series bears the name of a coastal town in Senegal, with its own symbolic charge.
The village of Cap Skirring, for example, located in the south-west of Senegal, has over time become very popular with tourists, and since 1973 has been home to a Club Méditerranée, in place of the former fishing village. Contrary to other places which are departure or even escape points from Senegal, this town thus symbolises the opposite movement, that of an arrival - that of foreigners, holidaymakers - whose journey is a happy one, but for whose comfort the local population had to be moved. The town of Cap Skirring thus bears witness to these links between arrival and departure, between land and sea, in the manner of communicating vessels, and also bears witness to the coexistence in our time of two parallel realities of travel and crossing.