Renowned for her innovative installations and immersive experiences, Visual Artist Sarah Konté has been passionate about the arts since she was a child, growing up in Paris, France. However, her diverse background with her father being from Senegal and her mother from Marseille and Algeria, she has brought her unique viewpoint to many groundbreaking artistic endeavors.
These include impressive feats such as Getty Museum’s Adornment | Artifact exhibit celebrating ancient Nubia, and Orbital Orchestra, a collaboration Ircam institute showcasing pieces that blend music with visual arts. Projects such as these have not only solidified Sarah's position as an influential artist but have also garnered her prestigious awards, accolades, and high-profile collaborations, further propelling her career to new heights. In August 2023 she will have a group show in Mexico City with Abraham Cruzvillegas at Galeria Campeche, and an exhibition with the residency Villa Dufraine, Académie des Beaux Arts, Institut de France in Paris during the month of November.
Sarah is also a member of the prestigious La Marge Collective, a cultural and artistic association that launched in May 2020 at the initiative of young visual artists, architects and curators wishing to set up activities and projects while investing locally in their countries and cities of origin in the periphery of Paris. It works to rehabilitate spaces in transition such as disused buildings or wasteland with the temporary occupation of young artists by organizing cultural and artistic events, promoting the autonomy, the professionalization and the development of young creators and to animate places of experimentation whether it be to accompany individuals or projects in a purely associative spirit.
Collaborating with Elladj Lincy Deloumeaux and Johanna Mirabel, Sarah aimed to create an exhibition that embraced various artistic disciplines, incorporating interior design to facilitate installations that communicate and collide while offering diverse perspectives. La Marge’s work was showcased in Aimé Césaire’s space in Genevilliers, and Sarah had an entire theater room designated for her work.
“My work was then exhibited like a theater piece but only with videos and sound, no character, so I think conceptually it brings a new perspective of my work which is declined either in a cinematographic approach or theatrical,” she described.
Working on La Marge was a rewarding experience for Sarah and her ability to merge theater and cinema through her videos and sound installations added an immersive quality that made her contribution essential to the project's success, which then went on to win The Hatvany Prize.
Reflecting on the project, Sarah states, “The presentation of my work was a decisive tool in showcasing all the techniques that unite our collective. I wanted to bring a performative element to this project, creating a happening within the exhibition.” The fusion of theatricality, video, and sound installations opened new avenues for Sarah, reinforcing her desire to create installations that provide cinematic or theatrical experiences, immersing audiences in a world of visual and auditory marvels.
With her work on VECTEURS.XYZ at the prestigious Grandes Serres de Pantin, Sarah's creative prowess took center stage once again. The project intrigued her with the opportunity for a musical immersion experience in two distinct ways: a DJ set and a light installation, along with an exhibition space featuring her own videos, sculptures, and soundscapes.
Sarah's collaboration with curator Elona Prime stemmed from Elona's appreciation of one of her previous installations. Exploring the vast space of the Grandes Serres de Pantin, Sarah immediately felt inspired and embraced the challenge of working with such an expansive environment. The curator's intimate connection with music further fueled Sarah's interest, foreseeing potential collaborations in future projects.
Working on VECTEURS.XYZ was a stimulating experience for Sarah. Composing an installation directly in situ within a few days was a creative frenzy. She utilized the existing element of sand in the space as a starting point, delving into the idea of what can be perceived when one's eyes are closed. Visitors could explore two spaces, each offering a distinct approach to sound. The DJ set provided an immersive experience, while the exhibition area invited a more intimate listening experience with headphones connected to Sarah's sound channel.
Sarah's work was pivotal to the success of the VECTEURS.XYZ project. Her installation brought together different sound approaches, with composed sounds heard through headphones and videos playing in concert, creating a rhythmic alternation. By incorporating elements recovered from the space, such as sand, and using fabric projection screens that seemingly fused the installation with the surroundings, Sarah created a sense of timelessness and mystery, elevating the project to new heights.
Sarah expresses her satisfaction with the project, stating, “I think this confirms my commitment to offering the audience a questioning of their perception, of their sensitivity to being carried along by non-conformist experiences. The fact that my installation is proposed in different parts and that it appeals to the senses in different places, such as listening to the headphones, then to the sandy material emanating from the floor, allows the viewer to be surprised as he discovers the project. The fact that the videos emerge from the frame and are reflected at different heights allows a cinematographic approach to the video installation, which is a difficult challenge to achieve.”
Sarah continues to push boundaries and achieve artistic brilliance through her innovative installations and immersive experiences. Her ability to merge various artistic disciplines, create conceptual explorations, and provide cinematic or theatrical experiences to her audiences sets her apart as a truly influential artist. As she explores new horizons, we eagerly await her upcoming projects and the transformative experiences they are sure to offer.