Romuald Hazoumè is a Beninese artist who defines himself as an aré: a travelling artist, who carries the artistic traditions of his community, weaving them into modernity through his relationships to his contemporaries and the subjects that inspire him.
Exploring time – both in the long-term and dealing directly with current events – his works also evoke our world’s tensions, contradictions and aberrations, where man appears to see himself as a use-object. In this way, the jerrycans so often used by Hazoumé are symbolic of the modern slave – a human being that we wear out, deform, then throw away. Similarly, the flip-flops found on beaches belonging to those who have departed by sea show us what remains of the men and women who have no chance of returning to their countries – who have become dead or alive, undesirable and invisible to us.
Bearing witness to these men and women who survive without ever giving up, to a world where today’s migration echoes past and present slavery, to a culture that is “passed on” – even if those who bear the traces of it are not aware they are doing so – Romuald Hazoumè works to reawaken our consciousness and bring to light everything we wish to keep hidden in the shadows.
*Expression(s) décoloniale(s) offers visitors a chance to discover current historical and artistic perspectives on the Atlantic slave trade. For this itinerary, we have also invited Ivoirian historian Gildas Bi Kakou, who specializes in questions related to the memory of the Atlantic slave trade. The Château des ducs de Bretagne proudly bears the Tourism & Disability label. It also receives support from its official partner Crédit Agricole Atlantique-Vendée. Take advantage of your ticket to the exhibition and discover the Musée d’Histoire de Nantes’ permanent collection. Get another perspective on the city and castle from the ramparts.
© David Gallard