SUUL XEËR DU KOTTERE FEÑ / One cannot cover the shadow of the tree

Residency Host: KER THIOSSANE, Villa for Art and Multimedia
Artist: Cleophee R.F. Moser and Mour Fall

  • About the artist
  • About KER THIOSSANE, Villa for Art and Multimedia
  • Residency Overview
  • Social Media

The Fall/Moser duo was announced in 2020 with the confrontation of their respective works during the exhibition «Maison de Force» at Galerie Aedaen in Strasbourg. The show juxtaposed Cléophée Moser’s Souterraines series, featuring performances by women in concrete, with Mour Fall’s Déconstruction, a work about the disappearance of traditional family concessions in the neighbourhood where he grew up, and the work of stepping back that is necessary to evolve in a context saturated by the ideals of modernity and values imported into recent Dakar society, geared towards homogenising globalisation.

Reunited a few months later in Dakar, the artists made their first collaborations by accompanying each other in a series of performances dealing with concrete, the omnipresence of building sites and the environmental violence engendered by the urban changes underway in the capital (performances «Concrete meditation», «Brutalism Training», «Barça Wala Barzac», «Discours Blablabla», «Garab : les funérailles de l’arbre céleste», research performed in Hann park, research in Keur Massar forest).

Crossing their observations and sharing various actions in the public space, they imagined together the film-performance «Brut.tales», which deals with the resistance of nature, bodies and mystical forces against the all-concrete and violent development of the Dakar waterfront, subjected to the construction of monumental towers operated by international luxury real estate developers and land speculation. They develop their research into verbal and non-verbal languages as artistic mediums in their own right, delving deeper into the sound spectrum: onomatopoeia, interpellations, cries, silence, voice-overs, narratives and translation assert themselves in their work to challenge presences beyond the visible, both in performance and in the resulting image.

The pair then settled up their studio in Keur Massar, on the outskirts of Dakar, and began researching both the diseases and alarming ecological consequences of the disappearance of trees on the Malika coast, and traditional healing practices in Senegalese-Gambian culture.

At the Dakar Biennial in 2022, the duo continued to affirm their commitment to contemporary art that addresses urgent ecological issues on the peninsula, presenting the fruit of their joint and respective research about the illegal exploitation of sand dunes, the destruction of forests for the coal industry, the burial of bodies in concrete, and permanent architectural decay, in the «Taxalé» exhibition in Ouakam.

In 2023, following the publication of their interviews with the Eaux Fortes collective in the Revue Multitudes N°90, they continued their research in the Dakar-Thiès region, meeting manufacturers of eco-responsible building materials in Sébikotane and Diass, and exchanging views with players involved in the Great Green Wall project.

As they travelled through the region and met with a variety of users, they came up with the SUL XËR DUKOTERE FEGNE.

Kër Thiossane is a cultural space in Senegal established in 2002 with the support of the Daniel Langlois Foundation. It aims to integrate multimedia into traditional artistic practices and promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The organisation offers residencies, workshops, and training focusing on art and new technologies.

Kër Thiossane works to democratise digital tools and engage the local community in creative expression. It collaborates with various local organisations and partners across different sectors to expand its impact. The organisation serves as a resource centre for digital creation in Africa, supporting cultural and educational projects.

Kër Thiossane aims to bridge digital art practices with areas such as education, creative industries, citizenship, ecology, and urban planning. Through its activities, Kër Thiossane fosters innovation, creativity, and cultural exchange in Senegal and beyond.

“SUUL XEËR DU KOTTERE FEÑ” is a research and creation project led by the Dakar-based artist duo Cleophee Moser and Mour Fall that examines the relationship between humans and trees, questioning the potential of technologies to identify the modes of communication present between their species and strengthen their links in the future.

This project is rooted in the specific context of the Sebikotane region, where major urbanistic and societal changes over a period of decades have had a profound impact on the environment, the living conditions of the inhabitants as well as the biodiversity of the region, and where a collective of researchers and citizens committed to preserving the ecosystem are organizing a Pollution Observatory and are fighting to bring a vanished forest back to life.

Using a variety of sound, visual and sensory approaches, the two artists are developing a method of experimental listening and observation in encounter with the region’s inhabitants and the trees that remain, to capture the memories, gestures and connections that persist.  By consolidating and disseminating its method of approach, this project aims to propose the terms of a new modality of relational conception with trees, and the recognition of their crucial role in the evolution of our societies.

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STARTS4AFRICA is funded by the European Union under the STARTS – Science, Technology and Arts initiative of DG CNECT (GA no. LC-01960720). Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.