Karim Kal, Nengi Omuku — À corps défendant


Painting, photography

Karim Kal, Nengi Omuku
À corps défendant

Past: September 18 → December 11, 2021

La galerie noisy le sec exposition lgnls 2021 karim kal nengi omuku 55 grid Karim Kal, Nengi Omuku — La Galerie, centre d’art contemporain de Noisy-le-Sec La Galerie de Noisy-le-Sec propose une exposition passionnante dans un format qui ne l'est pas moins ; la confrontation, sous la forme d'une rencontre croisée, entre deux artistes, Karim Kal et Nengi Omuku, aux univers plastiques et formels différents dont le dialogue, fructueux, se fait par échos subtils et traduit une contemporanéité qui fait sens.

This exhibition elicits interaction between the work and explorations of two artists who do not know each other, but whose fields of interest can set up mutual echoes. In this case, the colourfully crowded canvases of Nengi Omuku (born in 1987, lives and works in Lagos) responding to the disembodied, quasi-abstract photographic images of Karim Kal (born in 1977, lives and works in Lyon and Algiers). Both question the way bodies strive to get free of normative frameworks, whether social, architectural or political.

Influenced by a certain politics of the body and the complexities attaching to identity and difference, Nengi Omuku observes human beings positioning themselves and adapting to each other in space. Reacting to the recent lockdown restrictions, her latest paintings reflect her interest in the collective and in community life. Painted on sanyan, a traditional Nigerian cloth, her colourful portraits, set against dreamlike landscapes, seem to slide from anthropomorphic forms to vividly coloured surfaces, revealing in the process issues of gender, race and cultural heritage.

In its detachment from the lyricism of much of the documentary photography tradition, Karim Kal’s work is fuelled more by art history references — abstraction or minimalism, for example. Eminently political and poetic, his approach reflects a form of spatial coercion induced by a supposed structural-social ergonomics. The large areas of flat monochrome Karim Kal favours in his images are part of a deep-rooted critique of the dominant influence of architecture on our habits, in a built environment he considers a cultural and ideological marker. With his nocturnal urban landscapes, he draws the social and political outlines of these environments, as if framing black screens for the projection of countless stories.

This exhibition is supported by the ADAGP and the Copie privée.

  • À corps défendant Opening Friday, September 17, 2021 6 PM → 9 PM
  • À corps défendant Visit Saturday, September 25, 2021 3 PM → 5 PM

    Guid tour of the exhibition with Nengi Omuku

  • À corps défendant Visit Sunday, October 10, 2021 3 PM → 5 PM

    Guided tour of the exhibition with Marc Bembekoff, curator and La Galerie director

  • À corps défendant Visit Saturday, November 20, 2021 3 PM → 5 PM

    Guided tour of the exhibition witk Karim Kal

  • À corps défendant Lecture Saturday, December 11, 2021 4:30 PM → 7 PM

    Panel discussion with Karim Kal, Pascal Beausse (art critic, Head of photographic collection at Centre national des arts plastiques) and Isabelle Renard (Head of collections and exhibitions at Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration)

93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom in 93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom out

1 rue Jean-Jaurès

93130 Noisy-le-Sec

T. 01 49 42 67 17

Official website

Opening hours

Wednesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Fermeture les jours fériés

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artists