Esprit Revue Noire
Une collection fondatrice

The photograph of a performance by Joël Andrianomearisoa makes the front cover of the Madagascar issue of Revue Noire, in 1997. A whole symbol renewed in 2022 with this exhibition ESPRIT REVUE NOIRE UNE COLLECTION FONDATRICE, at Hakanto Contemporary, in Antananarivo, more than twenty years later.

The magazine, the publishing house and production company were founded in 1990 by Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Leon (both architects, artistic directors, curators), Simon Njami (writer and curator) and Bruno Tilliette (publisher and writer).

As a magazine of investigation of contemporary African expressions, marking the years 1990–2000, Revue Noire offers a new and unknown image of the vitality of creation, modernity, the profusion of arts and artists from Africa and its diaspora. Distributed around the world, the international bilingual magazine—French/English—plays an essential role in the history of contemporary African art and reveals many artists, from visual arts to photography, from cinema to dance, from fashion to design, as well as literature by bringing out a new generation of writers.

As a pioneer, Revue Noire was the first to reveal artists in terms of contemporary African art and more particularly African photography. This exhibition shown in Antananarivo is taken from the exhibition Africa by Africans which circulated from Paris (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) to São Paulo (Biennale), from Washington (Smithsonian) to New York (New Museum of Contemporary Art) via Cape Town, Berlin, London (Barbican) or even Brussels (Tervuren)… The book Anthology of African Photography, the Indian Ocean and the Diaspora (1998) which is associated with it and each issue of Revue Noire thus is the corner stone of a history of African photography.

In the 1997 the Madagascar issue, nearly twenty Malagasy photographers were published. Today, the Revue Noire exhibition in Antananarivo, curated by Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Leon, naturally focuses on the history of African photography in 140 photographs, almost all of which are original and vintage. Videos produced by Revue Noire are broadcast while all of the publications of Revue Noire are on display so that the visitor can participate in the approach of Revue Noire.

Published quarterly, each issue draws up a panorama from an editorial committee established on site, country by country. Other issues deal with a more specific issue, linked to a discipline, photography, dance, fashion or societal phenomenon such as the city, cooking or even Aids which is devastating the continent. Engaging in this fight for survival, Revue Noire produced in 1995, when no treatment existed then, African artists and Aids composed of an issue of Revue Noire, films by African filmmakers, a CD, and a program that will be broadcast on African TV channels.

This “comprehensive” work by Revue Noire is very much in the spirit of its creators. It will be found in the exhibition African Suites in Paris in 1996 where visual artists, dancers, photographers, writers, performers will be gathered in an effervescent space and emancipated walk.

Today, the publishing house still exists and pursues publications and exhibitions, as most recently in Toulouse, at the Musée des Abattoirs, presenting the various facets of Revue Noire through publishing, art, photography, music, video. It is in the same spirit that the exhibition for Hakanto Contemporary was conceived.

Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Leon

MAY 6 . 2023

The exhibition Esprit Revue Noire une collection fondatrice presents the works of the artists :

Joseph Moïse Agbojelou . Daniel Attoumou Amicchia – Anta agency . Cornélius Augustt Azaglo . BTEM-SGM-FTM Agency . Mama Casset . Jean Depara . Drum . Gahité Fofana . Samuel Fosso . Antoine Freitas . Dorris Haron Kasco . Rotimi Fani-Kayodé . Seydou Keïta  . Philippe Koudjina . Zwelethu Mthethwa . Ambroise Ngaimoko Studio 3 Z . Yves Pitchen . Alain Nzuzi Polo . Ramilijaona . J. Randria . Joseph Razaka . Guillaume Razafitrimo . Studio Rill Maurille Andrianarivelo . Abdourahmane Sakaly . Malick Sidibé . Anonymous from Saint-Louis, Senegal

From November 26 . 2022 to May 6 . 2023
Curated by Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Leon

Opening November 26 . 2022 at 2 PM

Hakanto Contemporary
Alhambra Gallery . Level 2
Ankadimbahoaka . Antananarivo