Born in 1986, Roméo Mivekannin is a Beninese and questions the stereotypes and racism found in Western representations of African peoples. He often uses archive images for their symbolic and historical meaning. From so-called colonial photographs that he appropriates, the artist is interested in these more than half-naked bodies, in these mocked and downgraded bodies, in these exhibited bodies offered in spectacle to the predation of an ignorant and curious audience. He paints his face on top of the one of these oppressed people, making him literally endorse the humiliations inflicted to all these people, he blows us with brio that they have perhaps, now, become ours. By this subrogation, by this operation that I will qualify as magical, the artist’s gaze fixes us, he resurrects the souls of these martyrs, the dominant-dominated relationship changes and he installs these beings on an equal footing. By placing his head in this way, he symbolically offers these victims a new destiny, an existence that is certainly immobile but bathed in a softer reality. Through this powerful memorial gesture that the photographic document allows, he reveals the ambiguous power of photography.
A 2015 graduate of the National School of Architecture in Toulouse, then a PhD student at the Paul Valéry University and the School of Architecture in Montpellier, he is the author of a thesis entitled “Postcolonial Africa and contemporary photography: urban spaces / invisible spaces”.
Created 31 years ago by Eric Dupont, the gallery welcomes visual artists such as Damien Cabanes, Carlos Kusnir, Siobhan Liddell…, whom focus on formal research. Moreover, it also promotes photographers whose work is part of a committed and aesthetic approach (Mathieu Pernot, Nicholas Nixon, Taysir Batnji…). Over the years, Eric Dupont has hosted a new generation of artists: Tahmineh Monzavi, Wiame Haddad, Roméo Mivekannin, Katarzyna Wiesiolek… Thanks to its constant intercultural dialogue, the gallery participates in international events, biennials and fairs (1-54, Paris Photo, Art Paris, Venice Biennale, Sharjah Biennale…).