Soly Cissé lives and works in Dakar, where he practices as a painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He has exhibited throughout Europe with numerous exhibitions in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Great Britain. Cissé has also participated in several group exhibitions, including Africa Remix (2004), which travelled from the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany, to the Hayward Gallery in London, amongst other locations. As part of The Dak’art series, he discusses with 1:54 his specific practice of action painting in Senegal.
Soly, why did you chose this specific space?
I didn’t chose the space, I simply asked for a black wall. However, I was specific about the surface I would be painting onto.
Could you discuss the relationship between painting on a wall and your typical method of applying paint to a stretched canvas?
Firstly, the structure of a wall is more rigid than canvas, its an entirely different surface. What I like about painting on a wall is the breadth of the surface area, it allows me to deal with a very large format. The wall’s surface is potentially unlimited. This is the freedom I like most, especially when painting live with an audience present.
I’m glad we could have this brief exchange, what are you currently working on besides your projects in Dakar?
At the moment I’m working on a museum project in Brazil. I also have a few exhibition projects that will open in Africa and then travel further to different locations around the world. Truthfully, it’s crucial to me that my exhibitions are first shown in Senegal – the other countries can wait.