In the years ’90
Revue Noire Magazine is created by Jean Loup Pivin – architect – Simon Njami – writer – Pascal Martin Saint Leon – architect – and Bruno Tilliette – consultant journalist – (N’Gone Fall, architect also, joining us later).
We designed a great event of 1989, “In the Black City” to celebrate a modern and creative Africa. A multi-platform place abounding as an African city, with its streets, concerts, elsewhere networks and also its daily newspaper… The project is aborted face the exhibit ‘Magicians of the Earth’ exhibition where African creativity is essentially inspired by artists under traditional influences facing conceptual Western artists. By reacting we publish the Revue Noire magazine in 1991 against the advice of all (‘No African artists’, ‘No African Photography’ …). For us, today Africa exists with dynamic urban creators! And we will show it.
THE FIRST MAGAZINE ABOUT CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART
That’s the first international investigative magazine on contemporary artists from Africa and its Diaspora.
Quarterly published in English and French (sometimes in Portuguese or Spanish), the magazine is sale around the world for over 10 years (35 issues).
Meanwhile, Revue Noire team publishes numerous books, monographs or artists essays about today African art. We product original African music CDs specially recorded locally and several movies by African film-makers. And also exhibitions as ‘African Photography – Carte blanche to Revue Noire’ at the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris in 1994 (first exhibition of African photographers), ‘African Artists and AIDS’ in Cotonou and Dakar in 1996, ‘African Suites’ in Paris at the Couvent des Cordelier in 1997, ‘Africa by Africans’ a world tour photo exhibit in 1998-2001).
REVUE NOIRE CREATES THE SURPRISE BY ITS CONTENT AND ITS FORM!
At the time, yet not so long ago, very few African artists or photographers are known – even less recognized – on the international art scene, in museums, art fairs or exhibitions. And it is the same for artists from other continents! The West has long lived on itself as the center of the world. And the Western art world refers only to its own art history and those seen through its European prism. We can’t be satisfied with the emergence of ‘Niggers statues’ (more accurately Pacific works), collected by the ‘Moderns’ collectors of the early twentieth century, which has certainly inspired a new aesthetic but bring not a true opening to other cultures. How, in this context, ‘see’ the creation of other peoples, other civilizations?
The surprise also face this large format magazine on high quality paper, colors printed. The ‘Third World’ – so called in this time – finally get a great tool to recognize its existence.
Revue Noire seeks above all to discover another culture, to accept the Other (proof by the facts). And less to comment on artworks whose historical, artistic, sociological contexts are not known in the West (Africa is multiple, complex and moving, not a single entity that the views of ethnology or exotic folklore would summarize).
And to know looking, feeling, living, be moving with artwork, no more speeches, are and must remain the first attitude of an esthete or a simple curious. Art critics, commentators, academics specialists were disappointed to not have place for them in the magazine – we let them looting today -.
African ARTISTS and REVUE NOIRE
Not least, Revue Noire has enabled African artists to recognizing themselves and including in the general arena of the world. Today, the African countries and its Diaspora peoples live hopes in an unknown modern world like every ones on the planet. They have an history that forge future but not as an handicap.
Slavery and Triangular Trade, European colonization, famine, wars and coups déetat seen on television are just part of African being. African also has vitality, inventiveness, and utopia not often found among other individuals. It is what Revue Noire want to show.
Each issue of the magazine gives an overview of the artistic expressions of an African country or city through its most today active artists and its cultural institutions. All artistic disciplines are present: visual arts, photography, literature, theater, music, film, video, design, dance … in an open approach to everything.
After REVUE NOIRE
Revue Noire magazine stopped its publication in the early twenty-first century. Be limited to paper publications is meaningless facing internet. Virtual becomes our universe, with its infinite fields of absence. Be limited to a continent has no meaning in this world of large opening hope. We don’t believe in any exemplary ones face to another. We want to believe, not the standardization of minds, but to free expression and recognition of each individual, in all humanity and respect.
We then tried to create an other magazine, this time devoted to expressions of all forms (artistic but also about society…) and from all continents, revealing new but little-known minority and thoughts. A juxtaposition of society portraits. This required an organization and a global network of correspondents. We could not do it alone with our team. Unfortunately none of our dealings with the media groups has resulted.
But the same idea was developed with an images biennial (photos and videos) named today “PhotoQuai” and organized by the Quai Branly Museum. Revue Noire designed the first edition of this event before retiring.
The site WWW.REVUENOIRE.COM
The first website of Revue Noire was created in 1997, new looked in 2000. It comes back today in 2015 with a new look, more sober windows but still much informations about African artists and Revue Noire publications with, for each book, twenty pages showing you the layout and articles print (in section ‘Publications’).
This section ‘Shop’ allows to acquire magazine copies et ‘paper’ books for those still available or ‘indexed PDF’ for easy reading on tablets and mobile.
The section ‘Rare Editions’ offers to collectors portfolios or boxes containing an original signed photographic print and a copy of a deluxe edition book on cotton acid-free paper. A way also to get out of print Revue Noire publications.
The shop ‘Sentimental Products’ by Joel Andrianomearisoa exhibits his recent ‘readymade’ artworks, diverted objects with a ‘sentimental’ and humorous intervention of the artist.
The MAISON revue noire
In the section ‘Maison’, you will find the latest news of the Revue Noire gallery, events involving artists selected by Revue Noire with biography of each ones.
Section ‘Spirit’ incorporates the ethics of our research about African contemporary art, the main founding texts from origin of Revue Noire which define the mind in which the magazine was published during this decade.
Finally the section ‘Blog’ follows the news of contemporary creativity of African artists through editorials by Revue Noire team. Visits of major artistic events (biennals…) and exhibitions where African artists are present, and other mood tickets in response to actuality.