Niang, Mame-Diarra


France, b. 1982; lives and works in Paris and Dakar


While many contemporary photographers deploy the camera to contemplate structures of politics, identity, and history, Mame-Diarra Niang uses it as a tool for in-depth philosophical research, crystallizing impressions of scenes she later pieces together to form an abstracted, metaphorical landscape. In what she terms "the plasticity of territory," this personalization of space and distance serves to manifest Niang’s agency, which she extends to the viewer, encouraging them to join her in direct line across cities, cultures, and landscapes.

Taken individually, the photographs of Niang’s "Sahel Gris" seem to serve a documentary function, recording the developments of structures on the outskirts of Dakar, which the artist relates to her father—"a kind of no man’s land that I have metaphorically inherited." Yet, going beyond visual inventory, Niang rearranges these snapshots using the horizon line as her organizing principle; following the horizon, we encounter the cityscapes of Dakar and her "peuple du mur" in "At the Wall" and ultimately find ourselves immersed within the fervor and complex structures of Johannesburg in "Metropolis."

Artworks by Niang, Mame-Diarra

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