HomeArt contemporain africain : entre paradigmes, paradoxes et programmes internationaux

HomeArt contemporain africain : entre paradigmes, paradoxes et programmes internationaux

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Published on Monday, February 20, 2023


« Art en train de se faire », « art qui se déploie », « art in situ », « art qui se démocratise », « anti-art »,  « art conceptuel », « art post-conceptuel », « art postmoderne »…, c’est dire toute la polémique autour d’une définition consensuelle de l’art dit contemporain. Le philosophe questionne les soubassements idéologiques et conceptuels ayant présidé à son émergence recherchant ainsi une approche globale de compréhension de ce phénomène. Ce dernier s’appuie notamment sur une observation rationnelle de l’évolution des sociétés, sur l’impact psychologique de cette évolution chez l’artiste, et autant que faire se peut sur l’interprétation phénoménologique des produits de l’art, dans un souci d’objectivation des mutations de la créativité artistique… Cet appel vise à pourvoir le catalogue d’exposition de textes scientifiques. Art et science seront ainsi mêlés dans une perspective pluri et interdisciplinaire.



“Art in the making ”, “art that unfolds”, “art in situ”, “art that is democratised”, “anti-art”, “conceptual art”, “post-conceptual art”, “postmodern art”..., all these expressions really bear testimony to the controversy around a consensual definition of the so-called contemporary art. Although the art historian locates its origin in a kind of heretical movement of systematic questioning of the conventions of classical art (initiated by the successive pioneers of realism, new art and modernism), the philosopher, on his part, questions the ideological and conceptual underpinnings that presided over its emergence, thus seeking a global approach to understand this phenomenon. The latter relies particularly on a rational observation of the evolution of societies, the psychological impact of this evolution on the artist, and the phenomenological interpretation of the products of arts with a view of objectifying the mutations of artistic creativity...

As far as Africa is concerned, the formula of “contemporary paradox”, introduced by Nathalie Heinich, seems to find its full meaning when one considers the difficulties of clarifying contemporary art, as its conceptual, historical, aesthetic-stylistic and ideological foundations are intermingled and remains questionable. This epistemological-practical or technical amalgam is felt in the difficulties that some people have in dissociating the notion of contemporary art from that of modern or even postmodern art, taking as a reference the postcolonial rise of urbanism, industry, printing, information and communication technologies, technocratic popular culture and capitalism. The paradox is still persistent when the current African art system (galleries, art critics, fairs and biennials) tends to define the contemporary artist as that artist who radically distances himself from local iconographic traditions (implied as craft or “airport art”), in order to claim himself as a “ world citizen”. A citizenship voluntarily accredited by references to the influence of this or that modern Western artist or other contemporary artist who consciously or unconsciously obeys the cultural code conveyed by institutions and the art world, thus jeopardising the Kantian formula according to which “it is genius that gives the rule to art”. We are in fact witnessing the logic of the game, or of a “triple game” according to Heinich’s expression, where art cheerfully walks the paths of what Danto described as the Transfiguration of the banal. Art in a gaseous state in a software programme well programmed for the control of the world, the system and the body of art, in short of the entire cultural industry. The culminant point of the paradox is reached when one realises that many pioneers (pioneers of) Western modern and contemporary artists have existed and continue to exist at the forefront of traditional African art styles.

Far from being fortuitous, this referencing of African artists to Western art movements as an archetype for measuring what is ‘contemporary’ almost always betrays the tendencies of an ‘art programmed’ to depend ideologically, and moreover, financially on Western institutions. All of which, by creating a local crisis of taste, justifies a new phenomenon of spoliation of the African art heritage for the benefit of an unequal speculation of the international art market. Hence an alarm is raised by various local actors, to ensure that, contemporary heritage does not become a victim of the same spoliations as ancient art, at the centre of the current debates on the restitution of cultural artifacts taken away forcefully during the colonial period. Here arises a rumination on the modalities of a local patrimonialisation of certain masterpieces of contemporary African artists, so that this creativity participates more in the emulation of the imaginary in situ.  Of course, the question of heritage is only a part of a conglomerate of interdisciplinary reflections on the challenges of contemporary art close to postmodernism.

What are the conceptual and ideological foundations of contemporary art in general, and African art in particular? What are the historical and aesthetic-stylistic reference points? What is the relationship between this phenomenon, local iconographic heritage and international expressions? What is at stake in its influence on the world of African artistic creation?  These are all questions that justify the approach taken to exhibit certain artists who are representative of contemporary art trends in Cameroon and elsewhere, with a view to confronting their creations with the scientific and interdisciplinary viewpoints of specialists in philosophy, art history, art criticism, heritage management, sociology, psychology, art anthropology, cinematography and contemporary literary creation.  A panoramic catalogue of the works exhibited will be published during the book signing and dedication ceremony and scientific exchanges. Art and science will thus be mixed in a multi and interdisciplinary perspective.

Justifications and objectives

  • To reflect on the possible ideological stakes of the receptivity of contemporary art in Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular;
  • To determine chronological sequences of the evolution of visual arts movements in Cameroon from the first half of the 20th century to to present day;
  • Elaborate a repository of scientific concepts allowing the classification of styles or trends in local and African contemporary art;
  • To determine the influences of local and international heritages in the emergence of contemporary art in Africa and Cameroon;
  • To cross interdisciplinary views on the question of the representations of «contemporary art» in an exhibition situation.

Expected results

  • Production of a reference book (in one or more volumes), based on the interdisciplinary scientific contributions of specialists in philosophy, art history, art criticism, heritage management, sociology, psychology, anthropology, cinematography and literary creation...
  • Production of a catalogue on the visual arts and multimedia exhibition of artists whose art reflects the concepts discussed.

Axes of Reflection

The following axes, without being exhaustive and strictly limited, could serve to orient the reflection of the different contributors.

  • Epistemological, conceptual and terminological paradigms of contextualisation of contemporary art in Africa
  • Diachronic and synchronic approaches to «contemporary art» in Africa
  • Psycho-biographical approaches to artists and phenomenology of the receptivity of African audiences
  • Art, social development, identity crisis and artistic production
  • Anthropo-sociology of the body, the system and the world of contemporary art in Africa (museum, audiences, gallery, exhibition, art market, art criticism, various events, etc.,)
  • Art/anti-art, aesthetics/aesthetics, materiality/conceptuality, durability/ephemerality, monetisation/demonetisation: paradoxes and challenges of the contemporary art critic
  • Capitalism, cultural industry, codes and social critique of taste
  • The telos, the mythos and the tragic in the contemporary era in relation to aesthetics
  • Contemporary literary creation between rupture and innovation
  • Local heritage management in the light of contemporary influences
  • Postmodernism, aestheticization of the world in a contextual situation

Submission guidelines

Contributors are called upon to send their abstracts to the two addresses:

  • patricemuratore@yahoo.fr
  • josephpatricef@gmail.com

before 20/03/2023.


  • 20/03/2023: Deadline of the submission of abstracts
  • 05/04/2023: Notification on the acceptation or rejection of the abstract
  • 30 /05/2023: Deadline of the submission of full papers
  • 14 /08/2023: Results of reviews
  • 16/08 /2023 - 10/10/2023: Edition of the book
  • 20/10/2023: Publication of the book

Recommandations to Contributors

Length of the paper: 15 to 20 pages maximum

The first page must contain the following information:

-Title of the paper in small letters, body 14, bold;

-Author’s name and address

- Abstracts in French and in English (250 - 300 words)

-Keywords in French and in English (maximum 5)

Paging: Format A4, margins 2,5cm left and right;

Police: Times New Roman, body 12, spacing 1.5;

Intertitles : Height 12, bold;

Numerotation : figures. Exemple : 1, 1.1, 1.2, … 2, 2.1., 2.2, etc.

Quotations: more than 03 lines, left and right margin of 1 cm without inverted comas, single spacing, body 10.

For more information, kindly conform yourself to the APA norms, seventh version, 2019. A copy can be sent, if necessary.

Editorial Board

- Supervision : Pr Anatole Fogou (university of Maroua), Pr Guillaume Gaston Nguemba (university of Maroua), Pr Louis-Dominique Biakolo Komo (university of Maroua)

- Direction : Dr Joseph Patrice Fouman (university of Maroua)

- Scientific and Editorial Coordination: Dr Joseph Patrice Fouman (university of Maroua), Dr Narcisse Santorès Tchandeu (university of yaoundé I), Dr Nsangou ahmadou (university of Maroua)

Scientific Comittee (Proposal)

Pr Jacques Fame Ndongo (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Charles Robert Dimi (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Lucien Ayissi (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Charles Romain Mbele (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Nkolo Foé (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Jacques Chatué (University of Dschang), Pr Saïbou Issa (university of Maroua), Pr Michel Kouam (Catholic University of Central Africa), Pr Clément Dili Palaï (university of Maroua), Pr Raymond Mbassi Ateba (University of Maroua), Pr Roger Mondoué (University of Dschang), Pr Emile Kenmogne (university of Yaoundé 1),  Pr Mounkaïla  Abdo Laouali Serki ( university Abdou Moumouni), Pr Jean Bertrand Amougou (university of Yaoundé I),  Pr Oumarou Mazadou (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Cyrille Bienvenu Bella (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Charles Ossah Ebotto (university of Maroua), Pr Anatole Fogou (university of Maroua), Pr Fabrice Germain Menye Nga (university of Ngaoundéré), Pr Joseph Teguezem (University of Dschang), Pr Issoufou Soulé Mouchili Njimom (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Adder Abel Gwoda (university of Maroua), Pr Louis Dominique Biakolo Komo (university of Maroua), Pr Guillaume Gaston Nguemba (university of Maroua), Pr Michel Tadjuidje Oyono (university of Ngaoundéré), Pr Vendelin Abouna Abouna (university of Douala), Pr Pierre Timabi (university of Maroua), Pr Emmanuel Bingono (university of Ebolowa), Pr Rodrigue Aristide Nzameyo (university of Yaoundé I), Pr François Wassouni (university of Maroua), Pr Jean Robert Tchamba (university of Dschang), Pr Idrissou Njoya (university of Dschang),   Pr Abba Manga Mahamat (university of Maroua), Pr Michel-Yves Essissima ( university of Maroua), Pr Paul Ulrich Otye Elom (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Martin Paul Ango Medjo (university of Yaoundé I), Pr Abert Jiatsa Jokeng (university of Maroua), Pr Armel Sambo (university of Maroua)  Pr Léon-Marie Nkolo Ndjodo (university of Maroua)

Reading Comittee

Dr Joseph Patrice Fouman (university of Maroua), Dr Narcisse Santorès Tchandeu (university of Yaoundé I), Dr Cédric Martin Eyébé (university of Douala), Dr Denis Ghislain Mbessa (university of Douala), Dr William Deuga Tcheugoué, Dr Olivier Tima (university of Dschang), Dr Bertille Kritty Djodom Nguiambou (university of Maroua), Dr Philippe Nguemeta (university of Yaoundé I), Dr Nsangou ahmadou (university of Maroua), Dr Théodore Temwa (university of Maroua), Dr Raphaël Ngwe (university of Maroua), Dr François Paul Biya (University of Yaoundé I), Dr Marie-Renée Atangana (university of Maroua),  Dr Nicodème Djaligué Oumarou ( Université Complutense),

Technical Secretariat

Dr Joseph Patrice Fouman (university of Maroua), Dr Denis Ghislain Mbessa (university of Douala)

Indicative Bibliography

Adorno, T.W., Théorie esthétique, Paris, Klincksieck, 2011.

Alain, Propos sur l’esthétique, Paris, Puf, 1949.

Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb, Esthétique précédée des Méditations philosophiques sur quelques sujets se rapportant à l’essence du poème et de la métaphysique, éd. L’Herne.

Bidima, Jean-Godefroy, L’art négro-africain, Paris, Puf, 1997.

Bourdieu, Pierre, La distinction : critique sociale du jugement, Paris, de Minuit, 1979.

Chalumeau, Jean Luc, Lecture de l’art, Paris, Chêne, 1991.

Croce, Benedetto, Essais d’esthétique, Paris, Gallimard, 1991.

Danto, Athur, La transfiguration du banal, une philosophie de l’art, trad.Hary-Schaeffer, Paris, Seuil, 1989.

Essomba, Joseph Marie, L’art africain et son message, Clé, Yaoundé, 1985.

Esterolle, Nicole, Abc de l’art dit contemporain, Paris, Godefroy J.C, 2017.

Ferry, L, Homo aestheticus, L’invention du goût à l’âge de la démocratie, Paris, Grasset et Fasquelle, 1990.

            Le sens du beau, aux origines de la culture contemporaine, suivi d’un débat Ferry/ Sollers sur l’art contemporain, éd. Cercle d’art, 1998.

Hegel, Introduction à l’esthétique, Paris, Flammarion, 1984.

            Esthétique, Paris, Flammarion, 1979.

Heidegger, Chemins qui ne mènent nulle part, « L’origine de l’œuvre d’art », trad. W. Brokmeier, Paris, Gallimard, 1962.

Heinich, Le paradigme de l’art contemporain, structure d’une révolution artistique, Paris Gallimard, 2014.

            Le triple jeu de l’art contemporain, Paris, de Minuit, 1998.

Jimenez, Marc, Qu’est-ce que l’esthétique ?, Paris, Gallimard, 1997.

Kant, Emmanuel, Critique de la faculté de Juger, Trad. A. Philonenko, Paris, J. Vrin, 1974.

Laude, Jean, Les Arts de l’Afrique noire, Paris, LGF, 1990.

Menger, Le travail créateur, s’accomplir dans l’incertain, Paris, Seuil, 2009.

Michaud, Yves, L’art à l’état gazeux, essai sur le triomphe de l’esthétique, Paris, Fayard, 2011.

» L’art c’est bien fini », essai sur l’hyper-esthétique et les atmosphères, Paris, Gallimard, 2021.

Mounkaïla, Abdo Laouali Serki, Penser l’art contemporain, contribution à l’esthétique philosophique, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014.

Mveng, Engelbert, L’art et l’artisanat africain, Clé, Yaoundé, 1980.

Nietzsche, Friedrich, La naissance de la tragédie, in Œuvres complètes, T 1, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1993.

Nkolo Foé, Le postmodernisme et le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Sur une philosophie globale de l’empire, Dakar, Codesria, 2008.

Platon, Hippias majeure, Paris, Garnier Flammarion, 1967.

            Le Banquet, trad. Bernard et Renée Piettre, Fernand Nathan, 1983.

            La république livre X, Paris, Garnier Flammarion, 1966.

Preston Blier Suzanne, L’art royal africain, Paris, Flammarion, 1997.

Riout, Denis, Qu’est-ce que l’art moderne ?, Paris, Gallimard, 2000.

Somé, Roger, Art africain et esthétique occidentale, La statuaire Lobi et Dagara au Burkina Fasso, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1998.

Zarka, Samuel, L’art contemporain : le concept, Paris, Puf, 2010.


  • Monday, March 20, 2023


  • art africain, art contemporain, postmodernisme, postcolonialisme, capitalisme, african art, contemporary art, posmodernism, postcolonialism, capitalism


  • Patrice Fouman
    courriel : josephpatricef [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Patrice Fouman
    courriel : josephpatricef [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Art contemporain africain : entre paradigmes, paradoxes et programmes internationaux », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, February 20, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1akk

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