2013

MAME-DIARRA NIANG


SAHEL GRIS

In Sahel Gris I propose a sort of wandering ... I follow lines of perspective towards an elsewhere which perhaps exists only in my mind.

Sahel Gris is a transient place suspended between movement and stability. At the time I took these images around the old Dakar airport, the area was saturated with a tension between buildings under construction - symbols of ambition and development - and the flat horizon, the emptiness and the silence.

I constantly question the plasticity of anonymous landscapes; to my eye the surfaces in ruin, abandoned or under construction, are conceptual installations inviting contemplation and reflexivity.

Urban landscapes are a metaphor for life, a tangible sign of the permanence of the land and the constant expansion and migration of mankind. In this instance, building on a 'no man's land' directly references the Western suburbs, where the population that can no longer be contained in the urban precinct finds new ways of life. One can imagine the expansion of the neighbourhood along the horizon line, through the red, oxidized streets, and a choice presents itself: whether to tread sand and move on, or build with bricks and settle.

Sahel Gris is a still-life of a city anxious to lose itself between the abstraction of time and the concrete occupation of space.

- Mame-Diarra Niang, May 2013