In Wanderings, Anna Binta Diallo presents an installation of photographic collages in both two-and three-dimensions. The works consider how folk stories influence the formation of identity. Iterative in nature, the ongoing installation-based project shifts with each presentation, sometimes expanding into the exhibition space through sculpture. Of her work, Diallo writes,
“Casting a wide net on our Collective History, I reinterpreted folk stories and reimagined or reused them in my own way to create new mythologies. Using archives, books, found imagery, the Internet, memory, and oral traditions, I created a series of new images that can be continuously re-organized.”
Drawing on a wide array of stories and perspectives, Diallo reveals the affinities and tensions that exist between these and the mythologies of her own Franco-Métis and Senegalese ancestry; striving to make work that questions and subverts patriarchal ideals and racism. If photography freezes a moment in time, these collaged images release and recapture this moment, turning photographic fact to expansive folklore. Refusing to privilege any fact over folklore, Diallo makes space for complex and contradictory experiences, upending the linear narrative privileged by colonial histories. Diallo’s images reject a single truth, implicating countless and complex understandings of Self and Other.
An installation of Wanderings will also be on view at the Waterfront Canada Line Station as part of Capture Photography Festival 2020.
Anna Binta Diallo is a visual artist who investigates memory and nostalgia to create unexpected narratives surrounding identity. Born in Dakar, and raised in Saint-Boniface, traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis. She obtained an MFA in Creative Practice, specializing in video (Transart Institute, Berlin). Her work has been exhibited internationally at La Maison des Artistes Francophones, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Art Gallery of Alberta, MOCA Tapei, Towards, and has been featured in numerous publications such as Canadian Art, PaperWait, and Musagetes. Diallo has participated in residencies at The Banff Centre (The Universe and Other Systems & Distributed Identities), and in 2017 was invited to Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires—a multidisciplinary initiative, gathering Indigenous artists and artists of colour to discuss their criticality in Canada’s current discourses. Diallo has been the recipient of multiple grants and honours, notably from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec, and Francofonds, and in 2019 was shortlisted for the Salt Spring National Art Prize. Following her exhibition at Access, Wanderings will be exhibited as part of Notions Of Place – From Belonging To Displacement, Central Finland Exhibition 2020 (Keuruu Museum, 2020). She is currently based in Montreal, or Tio’tia:ke, on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka.