Éliane Aisso

La Petite Camisole - Installation - 2020

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 22


In Antiquity they were seen as key figures, employed by kings or nobles to distract or amuse them. Over the years, they have become people that we forget, or that we sometimes stare at strangely when we see them in the street. We can distinguish them, for one thing, by their odd, abnormal behaviour, their extravagant accoutrements and their lack of hygiene, of which they are in fact perfectly unaware.
Basically, these creatures did not choose the street; illness forced them onto it. How come they are so ignored by everyone else?
In some communities, the mentally ill are accused of witchcraft. They are tied to trees by their own families.
People in Africa are frightened of madness, really frightened, and it is this fear which explains why these mentally ill people suffer and are abandoned.
I want to bring down this wall of fear by placing people who are mentally disturbed, and commonly called “mad,” at the heart of a virtual reality installation. We will go to meet these unwell people in an unreal city made from the reconstitution of the walls within which they were confined.
We will experience this in an intense aural ambience, facing a sufferer who, in this setting, is not allowed to speak until calm returns and he can at last express himself.
My hope is that this virtual experience will at last change the way we look at these persons who hunger for attention and humanity.

Éliane Aisso

An artist and photographer, I was born in Benin on 18 April 1989. Holder of the national equivalent of the baccalaureate from the École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA), I considered my studies at the University of Abomey-Calavi, where I obtained an BA and MA in art history. I continue to receive artistic training while pursuing an artistic career. I am currently studying at Le Fresnoy - Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing (France).


Samuel MOUND, Samuel GRANDSIR et Nicolas D’Haussy de V-Cult
Beat Gysin, Éric Prigent, Alain Fleischer, Patrick Sandrin, l’ambassade de France au Bénin, l’Institut français du Bénin, Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains.


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing — V-Cult — Institut Français du Bénin — Ambassade de France au Bénin