On fait des dessins dans la terre

Curator: Eva Barois De Caevel

Naomi Lulendo

Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien

Georgina Maxim

Charlotte Yonga

From February 6th to April 10th 2021 - Extended until May 29th 2021


31 PROJECT is pleased to present, in collaboration with the curator Eva Barois De Caevel, the collective exhibition On fait des dessins dans la terre, bringing together the works of the artists: Naomi Lulendo, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien, Georgina Maxim and Charlotte Yonga.. 


On fait des dessins dans la terre (extract)

By Eva Barois De Caevel, December 2020

This is not an exhibition submitted to a theme in charge of bringing together more or less artificially these artists but to give all its measure to a meeting by affinity and emotional. It is also to bring together a generation of artists whose work I have been observing with attention since several years and with which I have for the most partworked several times. Define what makes one feels affinities between works and artists is not always easy to theorize, or to poeticize. The affinities here are both thematic and formal. They also exist at the level of these artists, their personal narratives, their their communities.

The title of the exhibition is a loan from L'Opoponax by Monique Wittig. It is a reading that was recommended to me by female students in School of Fine Arts where I have the chance to teach. This Opoponax is what allows me to to suggest both these affinities between women (these student artists, the artists I'm talking about in my classes, the worker that I am) and the formal and thematic affinities contained in the pieces: sober, modest gestures, techniques simple, the search for and enhancement of pleasure to isolate these simple gestures, to look for themselves, to find oneself there and to get lost in it, but also to consider the shapes they produce with delight. It It is also about, still at the level of these echoes of continuity between objects produced, of a continuity between objects produced and their birth or their becoming, sometimes, in the performance, of narrations that weave themselves around organic, from childhood (and even from the very young), to the childhood), maternity, matriculation and childhood), maternity, matrescence and maternal and infantile bodies, and which are deployed in the the multiplicity of mediums. 


On fait des dessins dans la terre pays attention and makes one want to pay attention, I hopefully, to links between women.


Artist's biographies


Naomi Lulendo

Lives and works in Dakar, Senegal.


Born in Paris, Naomi Lulendo lives and works in Dakar. In her multidisciplinary practice between painting, sculpture, performance, photography and installation, Naomi Lulendo creates visual proposals that disturb and reinvent our relationship to space. Exploring the process of identity construction, making an analogy between body, language and architecture, her work is inspired by her personal biography and an attention to the polysemy of her environment. She explores the symbolic potentialities of the bodies, objects, patterns and forms that surround her. 


 She uses surfaces and patterns to create visual games with multiple references and propose an exploration of the moving links linking these bodies, forms and objects in the space where they are deployed. Naomi Lulendo shows the semiological richness of the ephemeral devices created by a given instant and space. 


 Naomi Lulendo is graduated of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. In 2018, she participated in the RAW Academy research seminar under the direction of the artist Otobong Nkanga, in Dakar. Her work has been shown notably at the Galerie Allen, Paris (2019); at the 13th edition of the Dakar Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2018 and at the Galleria Continua in 2016.

Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien

Lives and works in Paris, France and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


Visual artist, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien works in sculpture, embroidery, performance, installation and video. 

She crosses forms and mediums, juxtaposes them and creates assemblages in a kind of visual cartography playing on the multiplicity of cultural references and the profusion of senses. Industrial materials such as aluminium, copper and brass meet in an unexpected cohabitation with natural elements such as raffia fibre, hair, rope, wood and shells. 


Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien thus delineates spaces specific to rituals allowing her to deploy her performative practice where she strives to tell stories and poetic narratives while replaying a real and fantasized "tradition". A visual syncretism that questions her multiple identity between Ivorian and Creole culture. 


Trained at Ecole des Beaux-arts de Paris – Cergy, she was selected for the 61st Salon de Montrouge in 2016. The artist has benefited from several solo exhibitions such as at the Primo Marella Gallery in Milan in 2019, at the CAC La Traverse in 2020. She also participated in the « Herstory » exhibition in 2019 at MAC VAL, the 38th International EVA Biennial in 2018, the MOCA in Brescia, Italy and at the FRAC Ile de France in 2020. Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien will exhibit in 2021 at the Orangerie du Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. 

Georgina Maxim

Lies and works in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Maxim is known for both working as artist and curator with over a decade of arts management and curatorial practice. Maxim together co-founded Village Unhu in 2012, an artist collective space in Harare that has been providing studio spaces, exhibitions, workshops and residency programs for artists – young and professional. Maxim worked at Gallery Delta, her first experience during and after her studies at Chinhoyi University of Technology and is a qualified art teacher having taught at Prince Edward School for over 7 years. As an artist, Maxim’s work combines weaving, stitch work and the utilisation of found textiles creating objects that evade definition. Maxim describes her work as ‘the memory of’ the owners of these clothes, evoking the past and all these stories. 

Maxim was a nominee of the Henrike Grohs Award (Goethe Institute, Abidjan) 2018, She has exhibited extensively with works being collected regionally (Gallery Delta, National Gallery of Zimbabwe) and internationally (Mojo Gallery  in Dubai,  Sulger Buell Gallery in London, Goethe Institute in Salvador de Bahia).

Recently Maxim studied African Verbal and Visual Arts – Languages, Curation and Arts (Masters) at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and she displays a body of work in the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 58th Biennale Di Venezia 2019.She is exhibited this year at the Musée Bargoin (Clermont-Ferrand) and will present her work at the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine in 2021. A solo exhibition will also be dedicated to her by the 31 project gallery in the framework of Art Paris art fair.

Charlotte Yonga

Lives and works in Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France.

The French-Cameroonian artist Charlotte Yonga takes an attentive look at individuals and territories. Her approach, impregnated with dramaturgy, inherits a certain documentary tradition and is traversed by questions linked to the notion of individuality subjected to delocalization and North-South cross-examination. The subjects she depicts, mostly "ordinary" people captured in characteristic contexts, are at the center of attention and face the viewer. In an alchemy that summons with realism, strength and fragility, Charlotte shows tangible personalities captured in their complexities. 

Charlotte is a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC). During her studies, she developed a particular attraction for portraiture and gradually favored the photographic medium. Then in a concern to move her gaze to her subjects, she explores the expressive qualities specific to other media, such as video and sound. Charlotte has also been drawing for many years, an intimate work that she has shown very little. Her drawings, made with felt pen and colored pencil, are as many "therapeutic sketches" and forms coming from the unconscious. Charlotte also documents this creative process through photography, creating a formal and narrative link between her two favourite mediums.

Her work has been presented at the Festival Circulations, Paris Photo at the Grand Palais, at Museum of Le Havre, at M.Bassy Hamburg in Germany, for the Project Space of the Casablanca Biennale in Morocco and at LagosPhoto Festival in Nigeria.