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Paris la Consciencieuse

Paris la Guideuse du monde

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Editions Empire

Publication date : 2020/11/09
Weight 1200 g / Dimensions 31 x 21 cm / 368 pages / text in French
ISBN 9791095991236

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923-2014) is an Ivorian artist and poet, “re-researcher”, creator and inventor of the Bété alphabet. In 1989, he was brought to the forefront of the international artistic scene at the ‘Magiciens de la terre’ exhibition (May 18-August 14, 1989, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Grande Halle de La Villette, Paris). Presented among a hundred other artists from around the world, he would later become known worldwide for his drawings on maps enhanced with colored pencil.

But in May of that year, Bruly Bouabré still cherished a whole other dream: that of becoming a “writer”. While he is going to fly to Paris and at the same time leave African soil for the first time, the poet is ordered by his friends Odile and Georges Courrèges (then director of the French Cultural Center in Abidjan) to tell the story of his trip. Thus, a few weeks after his return, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré will submit his “report” of 325 handwritten pages, produced in “33 days”, in which he takes pleasure in recounting his stay, punctuated by sometimes insignificant events, while questioning the place of man in Western society.

Since then, this tale of “a blind man in Paris,” as its author was about to call it, had remained unpublished. The text, pleasing with its findings and enchanting with its language, is that of an observer seeking to understand a changing world from his own culture. Imbued with this freedom and the desire to identify and record that characterize the work of this encyclopedist creator, the work is a unique testimony to a landmark episode in the history of contemporary art.

Initiated by Odile and Georges Courrèges, who provided publishers with a copy of the manuscript entrusted to them by the artist, the project for this publication was also made possible thanks to the provision of the original manuscript by André Magnin.

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