MasKArade @ Ananze Explorer: Ernest Dükü

8 March - 12 May 2018

Here is an introduction to the work of Ernest Dükü, a peaceful journey into discovering  African history and spirituality through various symbols. Whether Akan, religious or ritual, these signs lay a certain history of our continent on paper: intense black paper, Chinese or Japanese papier froissé and papier mâché sculptures. Now who will dare to say that we lack written history?

The theme of portrait and mask is omnipresent in the artist’s work. Easily intelligible, it can be used under a variety of forms and become more or less complex based on symbols. Figurative and colorful, the image can turn into pure spirit when white lines take up a tridimensional quality. And to think that the young Ernest’s passion for drawing was not to the liking of everyone…

MasKArade @ Ananzè explorer will feel familiar to a certain Ivoirian audience who will recognize itself in it. The reference to the spider man and mythical tale hero Ananze is explicit. For all the others, it will be as intriguing and bewildering as the recurring musicality of the work titles. With Ernest, everything always begins with a title, whether dreamed or hoped for. Only after do his hand starts drawing the outlines and shapes that will give life to an interrupted, firm and precise line –a hand maybe guided by the Komian, these high priestesses in touch with the supernatural world and the mysteries of life.

Ernest conveys powerful emotions and, through clues scattered like in a big paper chase, gives us the dynamic keys to a world common to all mankind after all, beyond partisan cultures, labels and preconceived ideas.

Isn’t that the final purpose of art?