Bakary Diallo (Mali)

Musée National du Mali

Hommage (1979 – 2014)

Time can mark what is missing, such as the absence of artists with whom we could have hoped to share a furtive moment. Bakary Diallo was a promising artist before he was tragically lost to us in 2014. The future that was predicted for him emerges from the homage to his work presented at the 10th edition of the African Biennale of Photography. Bakary Diallo studied at the École des Arts de Bamako and later at Le Fresnoy―Studio national des arts contemporains, in Lille, France. His series of video creations bares testimony to the singular vitality with which he framed his images and told the stories he carried in his memory.

From The Light (2010) to Taa Bolo (2013), this art- ist’s discourse resonates perfectly with the developments in the crisis in Mali and the social conflicts that were all the more charged at the time of his passing. By using the mundane articles of daily life (lemons, rice, eggs, and squash) in Dankumba (2011), the video artist directs a critical yet just eye toward the traditions of Mali and the superstitions that permeate them. This aesthetic perspective underlies the original manner in which Bakary Diallo addressed the world, implicating us in the future of these societies torn between modernity and tradition.

This is also the case with Tomo (2012), a magical, ingenious video that displays his artistic gifts, where we brush against the abstract in the rendering of a territory left deserted as a result of conflict. Each work by this artist reveals a creative experiment defined by artistic rigour and meticulousness. Influenced by photography, Bakary Diallo’s oeuvre provides an aesthetic that is anchored in a profound investigation of structure, where simple narrative and graceful exploration transport us into a unique universe. This artistic discipline resulted in numerous accolades, including prizes from the Fondation Lagardère (2010) and the Metrópolis / Madatac (Spain, 2010), as well as the Prix des Amis from Fresnoy (2011). His work has been shown at a range of festivals including Videobrasil (2013), which he attended before his death.

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali