Visual poems by Maïmouna Guerresi

I feel calmed when I look at these photos… as if entering a cathedral.

“Blue Trampoline,” 2016

The photographs by Maïmouna Guerresi are monumental: triptychs ten metres wide portraying forms that tower, commanding us as we stand before them. But even on my small computer screen, these figures loom. What species of creature is this? Not god, but not human.

“Light Blue Triptych,” 2010

Guerresi calls this series “Giants.” Protection, nurturance, guidance: these aren’t offered by the figures that hover. But nor is hostility. These figures elude our definition—though their gaze falls steady on us.

“Rubber Tire, First Lesson” 2014. This work is part of the Opera Viva project, which displays artwork on public billboards in Turin. Guerresi’s photo was installed before the pandemic began; it remains as Italy eases out of lockdown.

“Streets are startlingly quiet,” Guerresi writes from Turin. “The emergency has truncated our everyday mobility. But in the essential movement, we can still find visual poems that console the spirit.”

“Black Oracle (Cosmo),” 2009

Maïmouna Guerresi is an Italian-Senegalese artist. She’s represented by the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago.

April 15, 2020