Emo de Medeiros is a Beninese-French multidisciplinary artist who developed complex practice including drawing, sculpture, text, video, photography, assemblage, performance, electronic music, installations, painting and appliqué fabric. His research revolves around a unique concept he calls contexture, a fusion of the digital and the material, of the tangible and the intangible, exploring hybridizations, interconnections and circulations of forms, technologies, traditions, myths and merchandises. With his enigmatic artworks, built from manipulation of contemporary and antique references, real and virtual codes, organic and mechanical forms, Emo de Medeiros place the viewers in a situation of confusion and doubt in order to generate an intimate reaction. Exploring the “context” of changes in time and space, the new perspectives and conversations happening in a novel epoch: the current environment of the post-colonial, globalized and digitalized world of the early 21st century, the artist investigates the broad sense of movement: the movement of life, cosmos and spirituality as they evolve and mix in alienated structures.
In Shadow Boxing, an ex-professional boxer is training on a ring, shadow-boxing: punching, dodging, blocking an invisible opponent. Bobby Everett, as an African-American, has experienced both the American Dream and the American Nightmare, going from fighting at the Madison Square Garden to homeless shelters, before being hired as an honorary referee and a youth coach. The video is based on loops in which the artist manipulate the tools of the video medium (using slow motion, accelerations, trails made of remanent images, etc.) to altered time and highlight the boxer’s movements. The music, composed by the artist consists of a jazz drum beat and an electronic score give core to the rythm of the subject and its treatment. An emblematic brand name takes on a particular meaning in this piece: Everlast, referring to the « Everlast-ing » movement.
His work has been shown internationally, in France (Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo), in Germany (MARKK Hamburg), Brazil (Videobrasil Contemporary Art Festival São Paulo), Nigeria (LagosPhoto), United Kingdom, Japan, China, in the biennales of Marrakech, Dakar and Casablanca.