Monika E. Kazi ‘s Beauté na yo* is installed in the Villa du Parc’s porch. This makeup table, to be activated during a performance on Friday, November 26, is comprised of embedded mirrors on which photos have been engraved, souvenirs of a childhood spent in France and Congo, and cosmetics, some organic and others mineral. This sensorial assemblage draws on the conflicts involved in the construction of appearance, the personality of a migratory self and a quest for a liberatory spirituality. Here the artist has constructed a visual interrogation where the makeup table becomes an extension of our body’s memory, a space for the staging of the self and the repository of our most unavowed wishes, like alters for prayer and offerings.
*The title Beauté na yo is a reimagining of the customary salutation “M’boté na yo,” which means, literally, “Good day to you” in Lingala. The phrase Beauté na yo, “Beauty to you,” works as a mirror-image interplay between the “I” and the self, between two languages and cultures.
Based on the text by Amandine Nana written for the Prix Dauphine for contemporary art, 2020.