Could an art experience be considered an institution? What is the legacy of an experience which deliberately refuses conventions on art project making to engage with a more critical social dialogue?
Founded in 1974 in Dakar, Senegal, the artist collective Laboratoire Agit-Art aimed to agitate the existing institutional framework, to question the tenets of Leopold Sédar Sengor’s Négritude, and to encourage artists to adopt a critical approach toward their practice. At that time, Dakar was a setting where political consciousness was exercised, and artist collectives such as Laboratoire Agit-Art went beyond the aesthetic experience to critically promote the development of cultural and artistic endeavours, whose goals were to blur disciplinary boundaries and to propose the experience of a ‘total art’ powerfully influenced by vernacular cultures and languages.
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