“The best inheritance, the richest patrimony that a father [or a mother] can leave for his [or her] children, is the glory of their virtues and their worthy deeds” (Cicero, from De Officiis, “On Duty,” c. 44 BCE).
The exhibit “Tadjo & Tadjo” presents the ornaments-jewelry created by Michèle Tadjo alongside canvases and installations by her daughter, Véronique. The theme of patrimony is considered within the frame of a family, but also on a national, global, and environmental scale.
“What man has before him, is his past,” said Oscar Wilde. Michèle Tadjo’s gifts to her daughter are both horizontal and vertical: an emotional, cultural and artistic exchange that results in a fusion that is at once ephemeral, utopic, and also deeply rooted.
Michèle Tadjo was a great collector of traditional African art; she was convinced that there is nothing more modern that traditional art. Her jewelry is evidence of this. Sharing her mother’s passion, Véronique has, in her literary works, sought to develop an “atemporal narration.” As she moved from writing to illustration, her exploration of the visual arts brought her closer to Michèle, above and beyond their family bonds. Because she shares Michèle’s passion for politics and urban planning, Véronique is also quite attuned to the driving questions of our day and to the environmental legacy we will leave for future generations. She explores these questions in her installations.
What traces of us will remain when our lives have passed? Echoing Cicero’s lessons, Véronique builds, day after day, on the immaterial patrimony bequeathed to her by Michèle, a legacy that she will, in turn, transmit: a memory that she entrusts to us, like the baton in a relay race.