“Marie- Ann Yemsi”

Marie-Ann Yemsi: “Our future is African”

The curator of the upcoming Bamako Photography Encounters retraces her passion for contemporary African art and the belated discovery of the wealth of this creative continent. Following studies that led her to managerial positions for international groups, Marie-Ann Yemsi made a sea change in 2005 when she set up Agent Créatif(s), an agency that would allow her to combine her appetite for contemporary art and her thirst for entrepreneurship. Her German and Cameroonian origins led her from voyage to voyage, from adventure to adventure. Not merely limiting herself to the task of supervising the African focus of Art Paris Art Fair, she is also curating the exhibition “Le jour qui vient” at the Galerie des Galeries. In December, the public can also discover her selection of video artists and photographers at the 11th Bamako Photography Encounters. Marie-Ann Yemsi explains to us why this is now finally the time of contemporary African art, and why it’s long overdue! When does your passion for contemporary art date back to? My early childhood. My parents always took me to museums. We also travelled a great deal, to several continents, which probably helped me to forget a certain openness to looking at things… After I spent a first part of my career in the luxury and communication sectors, I wanted to find an activity which would let me to live out my passion. This is how I set up Agent Créatif(s), a structure at the crossways between a consultancy firm and a project-support agency, specialised in contemporary African art and artistic production. Tell us about how you met Guillaume Piens and the organisers of Art Paris. I met him at my “Odyssées africaines” exhibition at the Brass in Brussels, presenting 16 Southeast African artists. These were key pieces by a young generation that...

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Art Paris Art Fair turns to Africa

The next edition of Art Paris Art Fair, scheduled for 30 March to 2 April 2017 (opening on 29 March), will be focusing on Africa. Loyal to its desire to discover and present foreign scenes, Art Paris Art Fair will be honouring the African continent in 2017. Curating this focus will be Marie-Ann Yemsi, cultural consultant and independent exhibition curator. Her last exhibition, “Odyssées Africaines”, at Le Brass in Brussels in 2015, matched history with our present through the works of African artists who are not so well known in Europe. The fair will seek to reveal the richness and diversity of Africa, representing artists from the continent but also its diaspora. Stands will be spread out throughout the fair and not grouped in one sector as was the case this year. Parallel to the fair, a symposium, a video programme and special projects will be presented to show a wide panorama of African creation. Art Paris Art Fair will also be placing an accent on emerging creation and young galleries, through the “Promises” sector that will be gathering twelve galleries. Digital creation will also be...

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