Six Questions


Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien’s research art work is in the order of the feminine and her works across a variety of mediums including drawing, sculpture, textile, painting, video-performance, and installation. she is a storyteller. In her artworks, she creates poetic narratives with multi cultural inspiration that result in a ‘plural identity’. Born in 1990 in Paris, Marie-claire Messouma currently lives and works there. Previously, she has lived in Ivory Coast, from where she left for Paris in 2004, during the civil war.  MANLANBIEN earned her MA in Arts from the ENSAPC – Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paris-Cergy. She took part in the 38th EVA International Biennial of Visual Art, Limerick, Ireland, in 2018, at the 61st Salon de Montrouge, Musée du Quai Branly, in 2016, and participated in numerous exhibitions in the UK, Benin, Réunion, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Germany and Ireland. Her work has been reviewed by various art magazine, among them Slash Paris, IAM Magazine, Artforum, Konbini. Arte TV interviewed her in the art documentary L’Atelier A. Recently she is nominated in the short list for the SAM ART Projects. Global and Local Artists’ Perspectives is an Interview and Conversation Series by Atim Annette Oton, curator of Calabar Gallery in Harlem, New York with Artists, Art Curators, Thinkers, Collectors and Gallerists.

1. What inspires you? And what continues to inspire you after these many years?

Answer: The world around us inspire me as well as my experiences. And through my art, I create my relationship to the world and to the modern society. I am inspired of various artists, philosophers, writers, and artists who work around the theme of feminine.

Video – Géographie féminine, 2019
Courtesy of the artist: Marie-claire Messouma MANLANBIEN

2. How did you start making art? And why do you make art? Is there an artwork that you have done that you are most proud of? Why?

Answer: Since I was young I drew and handmade creations with my mother and grandmother who are very good at drawing, handmade items, sewing, silk and painting. When I come back to France because the war in 2004 in Ivory Coast, I continued to study graphic communication and got a degree in it with art before heading to Ecole Nationale Supérieur des Beaux Art de Paris-Cergy ENSAPC to become the artist who I am.

Women walls, 2018-2019,
Courtesy the artist, Marie-claire Messouma MANLANBIEN

3. How have you developed your career? How do you seek out opportunities?

Answer: I received a newsletter, I lookedn the internet to find applications and opportunities, and sometimes curators and professionals come to me to work together.

Mater 7, Garden Ladies, 2017 – Exhibition: L’élargissement des fantasmes at the Maelle Gallery, Paris. Courtesy the artist Marie-claire Messouma MANLANBIEN and Maelle Gallery

4. What does your work aim to say? How does your work comment on current social or political issues?

Answer: In my work, I try to create relationships between traditional elements and western elements. I am interesting in the complex relationsships between l modern life, popular culture and the different traditional and spécific practices.

In art, my work is focused on the question of thr relationships of the feminine, poetry, syncretism, créolisation, and plural identity.

In my work, I create a meeting between female world and masculine world. For me, human beings are connected to other humans, nature and to fauna, the flora, the universe, and the earth. The elements of the nature inspire me. My daily experiences as a woman, as black, Métis, creole women, in relationship to the world where I live inspire me.

In my artistic practice, I try to use various mediums from natural, crafts, and industrial mediums. I try to create relationships between them.

#Map, 2018-2019; Copper and Hair Scrubbers, Courtesy the artist Marie-claire Messouma MANLANBIEN

5. Who are your biggest influences?Which artists inspire you and why?

Answer: I am inspired by Edouard Glissant and the notion of creolisation and syncretism, Tout-monde.

I like old music, old school music  and recent music, ethnic music, pop culture of ethnic music. I like fashion world too.

I am interested in various art of world, and hand made. I like the artwork of Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum, Jimmy Durham, Senga Nengudi, Frida Kahlo and more other artists.

#No name, 2016 at the Irish Biennal : 38TH EVA INTERNATIONAL 2018, in Limerick – Ireland. Courtesy the artist Marie-claire Messouma MANLANBIEN and EVA International

6. How do you cultivate a collector base? Which artist would you collect? What work have you collected or bought of another artist?

Answer: I have some artist friends and we exchange our artwork as gifts. Last one was with Keita Mori, I like his artwork. I love work of Ayanna V. Jackson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Wura- Natasha Ogunji.

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