La Compagnie Fruitière Residency
Art-o-rama’s partner since 2015, La Compagnie Fruitière consolidate its commitment to contemporary creation and has initiated a residency program in Africa. Led by Fræme, Compagnie Fruitière’s international residence welcomed Wilfrid Almendra in 2017 at the heart of its plantations in Upper Penja in Cameroon, Marie Bovo in 2018 on her fruit crops in Ghana and Senegal and now hosts Amandine Guruceaga on Ivory Coast lands. This variable dimension residence afford to each artist a unique setting and temporality adapted to their project.
In 2013, soon after graduating from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, Amandine Guruceaga installed Mirador balnéaire, her first public commission, at the city’s Prado Beach as one of the events and projects celebrating Marseille’s designation as the European Capital of Culture for that year. She had her first solo show at Diagonales 61, entitled Nana Benz and organised around this nickname given to the Togolese women having dominated trade in fabric and fashion in West Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. This exhibition signalled her fascination with the migration of forms and motifs, in particular through the colourful wax-printed fabrics that she had altered, worn down and revealed in creating her sculptures. In 2014, she completed a three-month residency as part of an exchange program with Glasgow Sculpture Studios, where she became enchanted with Scottish tartans and produced a series of sculptures featured in her solo show Wupu Beach Bang, presented at Pipe Factory.
Upon returning to Marseille, she co-founded TANK, an artist-run space for production and dissemination, which regularly invites the participation of outside artists. In 2016, she co-curated Raoul Reynolds: A Retrospective, an exhibition presented first at the Scotland Street School Museum as part of Glasgow International and then at the Friche la Belle de Mai arts centre in Marseille. Her works have been exhibited at Lisbon’s Galeria Quadrum, at the Villa Arson in Nice as part of RUN RUN RUN and at Mains d’Œuvres in the Paris suburb of Saint-Ouen. In 2018, during her solo show at the Montéverita gallery, she presented the culmination of her research on leather developed during her residency at LVMH Métiers d’Art and more recently at the Emerige Revelations and the Montrouge Salon.
Lady Rosebud 2019
Wearing a “wedding flower”, checking on “my rival’s eye”, appearing as a “Genito”, saying “honey don’t turn your back at me”, are as many messages sent to relatives, to a husband, to society in general as soon as one wishes to get married, when one experiences the torments of jealousy, if one affirms itself as a force of nature and fantasized genitor or even when one is asking for love and attention.
These words, here on paper, are the meanings given to patterns duplicated on the Wax fabrics. Each textile has its sui generis design holding a message. Wearing either one cloth or another is a way of expressing one’s state of mind, its desires, emergency and culture.
The communication sometime takes a unique path and Amandine Guruceaga, from the beginning of a work being done, reveals, in its singularity, chronicles relating of Wax’s power, at first British, and then more broadly Dutch while being marketed in Sub-Saharan Africa, the melting pot of Human’s history and their relation to power.
Entitled Lady Rosebud, Amandine Curuceaga’s protean project arose in here residency in Ivory Coast, in the heart of Tiassalé domain, the title being a quote to the goods boat conveyer that connects Africa to Europe. The artist links the fabrics, messengers of the intimate, to the grilles strongly named the “antithefts”, who appeared on the facades of the new African colonial cities to protect the occupants as well as asserting their wealth, contrasting the vernacular architectures widely open to the community.
The assemblage of metal to fabric, of the pattern first appearing with the welders’ efforts, the metallic structures proudly displaying their missives, who, coupled to Wax itself, presents their message as being altered, producing a hybrid stained-glass, a blend of materials with a bas-relief shape, an elegant alchemy, an object hesitating between its use and preciousness, an anomaly.
Lady Rosebud, a series of works presented here, appropriates a modified form of traditional habitat, where the papo borrowed takes the visitor to the heart of the vernacular. “The story is written in the material” tells us Amandine Guruceaga, and Lady Rosebud tells us the one of her residency, the work done in collaboration with the mechanics of the Tiassalé domain, of this meeting with a territory still larger than the landscape of Ivory Coast, inhabited by women and men, embodied in a powerful culture and heir to tremors of the past.
The exchange took place, an alchemy that does not denature in any way but moved, was operated by the slow development of forms and materials, it is so true to her artistic practice that crosses the borders as plastic as geographical.