The School of Mutants (Boris Raux, Hamedine Kane, Lou Mo, Stéphane Verlet Bottéro, Valérie Osouf)

The School of Mutants (Boris Raux, Hamedine Kane, Lou Mo, Stéphane Verlet Bottéro, Valérie Osouf) live and work in Dakar, SN; Brussels, BE; Paris, FR; Taipei, TW; London, UK; and Saint-Étienne, FR

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The School of Mutants, The School of Mutants, 2021, installation view, Raw Material Company, Dakar, 2021-22, photo: Kerry Etola Viderot, courtesy Raw Material Company © The School of Mutants

The School of Mutants is a collaborative platform for art and research initiated in Dakar, Senegal, in 2018. Its starting point is an inquiry into the role of universities, public school projects, and academic utopia in post-independence processes of nation-building in Senegal and West Africa; it is informed by wider transnational networks such as the Non-Aligned Movement, Afro-Asianism, and Third-Worldism. A nomadic project that aims to mobilize spaces for the production, transmission, and pluralization of knowledge in a nonhierarchical manner, The School of Mutants engages with sociocultural, ecological, and aesthetic mutations of the real. It produces video works, publications, assemblies, and collective learning situations.

 

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The School of Mutants, The School of Mutants, 2021, installation view, Raw Material Company, Dakar, 2021-22, photo: Kerry Etola Viderot, courtesy Raw Material Company © The School of Mutants

The project borrows its name from the University of Mutants, founded in Gorée, Senegal, in 1977 with an emphasis on nonhierarchical teaching and decolonizing academic epistemes. It connects this short-lived experience with the archives of other pedagogical utopias of that decade as well as literary and theoretical reflections on the figure of the mutant, from Octavia Butler to Édouard Glissant.

The School of Mutants invites us to actively think about ways to deconstruct and collectively reconstruct the ideologies seminal to the experimental pedagogical structures that participate in shifting paradigms and recentering discourses on the African continent and beyond. The installation on view at the 12th Berlin Biennale hosts a dialogue between archival materials and speculative video works.

Marie Helene Pereira

Exhibitions

Mutatis Mutandis, 2022, Dak’Art, La Biennale de Dakar, Musée Théodore-Monod d’art africain, Dakar (SN)

L’École des Mutants, 2021, Raw Material Company, Dakar (SN)

Sagesse des Lianes, 2021, Centre International d’Art et du Paysage de l’île de Vassivière, Beaumont-du-Lac (FR)

UFA-Universités des Futurs Africains, 2021, Le Lieu unique, Nantes (FR)

12th Taipei Biennial: You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet, 2021, Taipei City (TW)