July 7th, 2018 @ 8pm

Le Petit Versailles Garden NY NY
346 East Houston Street between Avenues B + C
subways: F – Second Avenue J/M/F – Delancey Street


Issa Samb(a), aka Jo(e) Ouakam was a Senegalese painter, sculptor, performance artist, actor, poet, art critic. He also used the name Ramangelissa as a playwright. Some call him the Shaman of African Art. Samb was a founding member of the seminal Laboratoire Agit-Art, an art collective founded in 1973 with goal of revitalizing artistic production, and critique institutional frameworks and the philosophy of Negritude in particular. His work combines influences from African traditions as well as 20th-century avant-garde movements including Dada, Surrealism, Situationism, and Fluxus. Samb’s work was exhibited at the Whitechapel gallery in London in 1995, and at the 2012 Documenta in Kassel, Germany. During the 2016 Dakar Biennale, he convened the “Midnight Congress”, a major multimedia exhibit that would be his last show before his death on April 24, 2017.

The film is primarily situated in Samb’s compound where he lived and worked, turning the outdoor courtyard into a constantly evolving, living installation. Samb’s artistic laboratory was under threat from developers in the last year of his life, and, despite community efforts to safeguard it for posterity, it was torn down shortly after his death. This film gives a rare glimpse into Samb’s life and the community he created around this now-lost space.

Bara Diokhane: “My work is the expression of necessity and serenity in an age of fast food fast information fast life and fast money. It echoes my ancestral lineage of blacksmiths and jewelers and mask carvers those whose spiritual communication with elements such as of water fire and air could create works of art or weapons of self defense or spiritual and cultural objects. My art aims to relay those coded messages being carried and transmitted for thousand of years before modern civilization by the ancestor of the internet the African drum.” – Brooklyn Arts Council Artist Registry

Le Petit Versailles events are made possible by Allied Productions, Inc., Gardeners & Friends of LPV, GreenThumb/NYC Dept. of Parks, Materials for the Arts, the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and the Office of City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. LPV Exhibitions are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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