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Olivia Anani

Curatorial Talk

23 April 2021 18:00 - 19:30

Watch it via the Curating Facebook page:


For this presentation, Olivia Anani will present her ongoing research project titled A compatibility between value systems.
The research expands from an academic paper published in the arts journal Afrikadaa (2015), and from which a lecture was presented at Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian (2016) the Columbia Center – Reid Hall in Paris (2018), and Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (2015). An updated version of the article was published in 2019 in the critical journal Something we Africans got.This research seeks to explore pre-colonial aesthetics in the arts, as a link between Africa and Asia, touching on concepts such as kintsugi and repair, philosophy of the qi and the concept of Force vitale in the work of philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne; the politics and modes of conservation and display of works of art (collector seals and poetry writing on classical Chinese paintings, seals on Japanese ukiyo-e prints), and how these concepts find their way in contemporary art practice today. The research project has already touched on Benin, Congo, Japan, Mainland China, Korea.

Bili Bidjocka, The last Supper: « Do not take it, do not eat it, this is not my body… », Dak’Art Biennale, 2016. © Olivia Anani

Olivia Anani (b. 1987, Côte d’Ivoire) is a writer, curator and art market specialist based in Paris.
She is the Co-Director of the Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art department at PIASA Auction House, Paris. With a background in Asian Studies and Contemporary Art spanning three continents, Olivia Anani has worked for several prestigious auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Phillips and Christie’s, eventually joining PIASA as Co-Director of the Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art Department in 2021. As a writer and curator, she is interested in art from a global perspective, working with the Taipei, Dakar and Kampala Biennales, Zajia Lab in Beijing, France’s Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Centre Pompidou, Fondation Gulbenkian and the Columbia University Center – Reid Hall in Paris.
A board member of the Friends of Palais de Tokyo in Paris, an institution she has been supporting since 2013, she was part of the jury for the 2018 Prix des Amis, a prize devoted to supporting young artists for their first major institutional exhibition. She remains a supporter of independent critical art journals such as Afrikadaa and Something we Africans got.