top of page

Emo de Medeiros

Artist 100 Emo de Medeiros Contexture Vodunaut Series

Emo de Medeiros (born 1979) is a Beninese artist living and working in Paris, France and in Cotonou, Benin.

His work explores themes of transculturalism, transforming identities, post-colonial representations, and globalization as a worldwide hybridization and mutation.

He also questions the African continent's transformations in the the 21st-century with the digital revolution .

I’m his own words, “My work is based on a single concept, contexture, which questions the transculturalness, interconnection, transformation, and circulation of forms, myths, merchandises and technology in a postcolonial, globalized and digitalized world.”

His artworks mix traditional and technological materials and media, as well as the link between art, spirituality and transcendence.

Emo de Medeiros defines himself as an Afroglobalist as much as an Afrofuturist.

Today’s focus is on his Vodunaut series, the name of which is composed of ‘Vodun’, the South Beninese traditional religion, and ‘Astronaut’.

They are helmet-shaped sculptures covered with cowrie shells, that incorporate video pieces. They are both hyperpower inducers and hyperspace navigation interfaces.

He refers simultaneously to their history as a currency and to their paradoxical symbolism as a visual marker of Africa, even though they are very rarely found in Africa itself.

His pieces often mix technological elements and forms from classical African art, notably from Benin.

“That’s one of the reasons I often incorporate technology in my work: they mark it as belonging to this century, and not to the previous one, and they allow interactions, perceptions and the elaboration of a language that couldn’t exist before.”

This language is a cultural from of language looking at Africa in a lens of today. His Vodunaut helmets create an interesting visual of a desire for traditionalism in art communities but a development at the same time.


bottom of page