APRIL 4 2024 - FEBRUARY 28 2025

Nadine Hounkpatin and Céline Seror

Memoria : récits d’une autre Histoire [Memoria: accounts of another History] addresses the idea of a collective memory made up of a myriad of stories, accounts, questions and experiences scattered in our individual, personal and intimate memories. This collective memory comes to light in this exhibition in the works of artists that remind us of the reconstruction of a common, universal memory, affording us a new perspective on contemporary creation originating from Africa and its diasporas.

When words and memories are forgotten, destroyed, erased or cut short, there is an urgent need to unveil a counter narrative, to bring multiple histories into coexistence and reveal what has been left unsaid — a need responded to by the 22 artists featured in exhibition. The defining feature of these works is their desire to transcend the boundaries of art, to “embody the elsewhere” and to illustrate the diversity of our shared individual and, ultimately, collective histories. The selected works explore painting, textiles, sculpture, video or even performance. They make up a journey echoing on the one hand a demystified reading of sections of History and commonly disclosed beliefs about the African continent, and on the other hand various forms of imaginary history that are still at play in the world of economics, particularly when it comes to the redistribution of resources. Through the multiplicity of techniques, the works presented bear witness to the committed practice of artists, strong in their narrative power and anchored in their fluctuating geographies and in their time. By questioning our thought mechanisms, Memoria : récits d’une autre Histoire [Memoria: accounts of another History] aims to encourage a dialogue on our ability to move away from our point of view, to listen to different narratives and to (re)question what we believe to be the standard, the reference… The exhibition is conceived as a stage made up of proposals in the vast task of building a jointly shaped future where our conscious and unconscious memories would finally be calmed and soothed.

In line with Fondation H’s new space size, the exhibition will feature works by artists Joey Aresoa, Olivia Bourgois, Joana Choumali, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar, Justine Gaga, Enam Gbewonyo, Georgina Maxim, Tuli Mekondjo, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien, Myriam Mihindou, Josèfa Ntjam, Gosette Lubondo, Barbara Portailler, Selly Raby Kane, Miora Rajaonary, Amalia Ramanankirahina, Richianny Ratovo, Carine Ratovonarivo, Vonjiniaina Ratovonirina, Na Chainkua Reindorf, Mary Sibande, and Charlotte Yonga.

A special feature of the Malagasy stopover: a residency program will allow artists to create works in situ using local materials in collaboration with Malagasy artists and craftspeople. The aim is to enable artists to unfold their stories over time. By integrating a selection of new works created by the artists during their residencies, the visitor’s experience will be enriched with each new visit.


Charlotte Yonga
, 2017
Serie Noun Valley (Kutchub, Cameroun)
© Charlotte Yonga


The first chapter of the exhibition explores the different paths taken by the artists to reveal a collective memory through their personal or intimate experiences. From Madagascar, Richianny Ratovo invites us to a visual meditation on the complexity of the feeling of love and the experiences we have to go through and face, like real soldiers, before we take hold of true love. Vonjiniaina Ratovonirina’s monumental installation reflects on our individuality as a vehicle for political commitment in the service of the collective interest. In a series of studio photographs, Miora Rajaonary focuses on the emblematic lamba, a traditional Malagasy garment whose meaning varies according to its use and the person wearing it. Olivia Bourgois invokes the intimacy of “home” to question notions of identity, transmission and inheritance, and conceives the idea of a sacred lineage between women. From other horizons, the “memory works” of Zimbabwean artist Georgina Maxim are composed of heterogeneous textile sculptures intimately linked to the memory of the people to whom they are dedicated. The paintings of Namibian artist Tuli Mekondjo, who draws her inspiration from a personal history linked to the trauma of exile, and whose works combine painting, plant motifs, grains and details from archive photographs, echo the history of Namibia. “Collant-peau” (“Getting under the skin”) is staged by Franco-Gabonese artist Myriam Mihindou, who, in a fixed-shot performance, uses words as well as her body to tell a powerful story about identity and self-esteem. The embroidered photographs of Ivorian artist Joana Choumali call for introspection and observation of nature to find comfort, strength and hope. Finally, with her intimate account of a village chief’s journey to France, Franco-Cameroonian Charlotte Yonga questions notions of tradition, heritage and identity.

Richianny Ratovo
All That You Give II, 2023
© Chilli Arts Project


The second chapter of the exhibition examines the critical dimension of memory: how artists use it as a strategy of reprobation, particularly in issues related to gender, post-colonialism, the representation of the black body and the exploitation of bodies and of natural resources. The obligation of memory allows photographer Gosette Lubondo to freely analyze a part of the colonial history of her country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ghanaian artist Enam Gbewonyo bears witness to her experience as a black woman in a world that is consciously and unconsciously hostile to her. The flesh-colored nylon stocking, an intimate everyday item, is chosen by the artist as a symbol of inequality and invisibilization. Cameroonian artist Justine Gaga invites the public to reflect on major societal issues through a monumental installation. Between the intimate and the political, Algerian artist Dalila Dalléas Bouzar uses portraiture to revive History and the duty to remember. Mary Sibande’s photographic and sculptural creations constantly denounce issues of domination and exploitation in the history of South Africa. Amalia Ramanankirahina, back on the island of her origins, lets herself be guided by the power of plants and minerals to reveal how the exploitation of natural resources echoes the history of human exploitation, while these same resources offer unique means of resistance, of transformation and of building a common future. Finally, Carine Ratovonarivo articulates a work of embroidery using Madagascar’s current events as a thread for restoring the island’s memory and history.

Mary Sibande
Ascension of the purple figure, 2016
Fiberglass, resin, textile, wooden base
284 x 101 x 101 cm
© Mary Sibande


Finally, the third and last chapter of the exhibition lifts the veil on an inventive, uninhibited, solid future of an accepted and celebrated memory: a limitless exchange between art, science, new technologies and a form of social activism, fertile ground for the composition of creative and subversive stories. These new languages can be found in the work of Franco-Cameroonian artist Josèfa Ntjam, who creates futuristic narratives in each of her installations, performances and videos; of Ghanaian artist Na Chainkua Reindorf, whose sculptural works incorporate organic materials, threads and beads, all woven, spun and sewn in a skillful blend of West African history(s) and techniques; or of Senegalese artist Selly Raby Kane, who imagines a fantasized African capital in a virtual reality film. Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien from Côte d’Ivoire uses natural elements from her stay in Madagascar and her residence at Fondation H to create a material narrative inviting viewers to reflect on notions of respect and care in the sense of attention and concern. Joey Aresoa has created a virtual library from scratch, in which everyone can find the means to encounter real or imagined stories and characters, evidence of a memory and heritage to be preserved, respected and passed on. Barbara Portailler, originally from Madagascar, closes the exhibition with a collective and participatory work inviting each visitor to write a memo containing a message for themselves or for the planet, using textile straps. This is meant to be a shared endeavor, drawing on the public’s imagination and helping to create its memory.

Na Chainkua Reindorf
Bomi : Second Life, 2020
© G_Deleflie


Joey Aresoa
Olivia Bourgois
Joana Choumali
Dalila Dalléas Bouzar (Residency from June to August 2024)
Justine Gaga (Residency from January to April 2024)
Enam Gbewonyo (Residency from July to September 2024)
Gosette Lubondo
Georgina Maxim (Residency from August to September 2023)
Tuli Mekondjo
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien (Residency in November 2023)
Myriam Mihindou
Josèfa Ntjam
Barbara Portailler
Selly Raby Kane
Miora Rajaonary
Amalia Ramanankirahina (Residency from January to April 2024)
Richianny Ratovo
Carine Ratovonarivo
Vonjiniaina Ratovonirina
Na Chainkua Reindorf
Mary Sibande
Charlotte Yonga (Residency from April to June 2024)


Nadine Hounkpatin and Céline Seror are independent consultants and curators. In 2013, they founded the cultural production agency artness, within which they conceive and produce projects in relation to the artistic scenes of Africa and its diasporas. From 2013 to 2018, they collaborated on the development of the first platform dedicated to contemporary African artistic creation for women — IAM- Intense Art Magazine, and created in 2018 the print and digital platform The Art Momentum. They share a common vision — placing the artist’s voice at the center of the art world — and defend values of collaboration and transculturality through an extensive network of artists, authors, art critics, and curators. For almost ten years now, the duo has been actively involved in highlighting new voices and narratives from the African continent through their publications and artistic and cultural projects they have designed. From Le Havre-Dakar, Partager la mémoire [Le Havre-Dakar, Share the memory](Muséum d’histoire naturelle du Havre, 2016) to Memoria : récits d’une autre Histoire [Memoria : accounts of another History], a Pan African group exhibition (Bordeaux, 2021, Abidjan, 2022, Yaoundé, 2023), the pair continues to explore the theme of reappropriating narratives, rewriting history and building a universal memory.

Céline Seror and Nadine Hounkpatin