Meeting Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny
by Claire Solery, curator of Art x Tech
Art and innovation meet at many potential intersections and feed on one another. Art x Tech explores the symbiotic relations between the two, featuring creators who are not afraid of pushing the envelope: from digital art to using tech to reach out or interrogate the tangibility of reality Art x Tech will explore, connect, disrupt. Art x Tech’s very first collab will look into Franck Fanny’s brand new photographic series Africa in Motion. Meet the very first Hang’Art resident.
Franck Fanny is used to wearing a variety of hats; of himself, he is willing to say that his reality is quite fragmented. But his most therapeutic alias is as Kommander Kobayashi, a photograph-maker escaping to his own sense of reality.
Creators create. When tech can pitch in and be an enabler, then great.
Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny
He had his start 20 years ago in Jamaica when a friend he was traveling with told him upon seeing his pictures that he should dig deeper. These were still analog times before the digital surge in the 2000s gave his career a boost since Fanny is used to working alone and does not chase collaborations, except the meaningful ones, with the likes of Sam Lambert, Creator of clothing powerhouse Art Comes First, and Simon Njamy for his La Divine Comédie traveling exhibition in 2014.
Fanny was also one of the four Ivorian artists selected for the Venice Biennale as part of a pavilion curated by Yacouba Konaté in 2013 and being selected for the 1:54 African Contemporary Art Fair in London.
Interestingly, Africa in Motion, the series chose to be a part of Hang’art’s Art x Tech program, which aims at enriching the conversation between art and innovation is a little different. Firstly, the series was made 20 minutes from his home in Abidjan in the popular Abobo neighborhood, which had never happened before. Secondly, it features people -a rarity in his work- who inhabit who face daily hardships but don’t let them define it.
Each photo from the series is the product of up to 7 different original pictures:
“I don’t make pictures, I collect them and then I produce a photo with the material I gathered (…) When you look at my work, you don’t go: an African artist did that. The photos are about me, I am not documenting a continent (…) I love my continent, but I am not a photojournalist.”
Fanny welcomes the enrichment tech can bring to Africa in Motion that makes the layers of complexity in his works visible and even more salient. Art and Digital can be complementary.
“Creators create. If tech can be an enabler, then great.”