From June 01 2021 to June 25 2021

Au Jardin d’Éden, Ruth Belinga

International performance residency


La Centrale galerie Powerhouse is proud to present Au Jardin d'Éden by artist Ruth Belinga in partnership with the International Centre for African Cultural Heritage (CIPCA) located in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Au Jardin d'Éden is a performance residency taking place both in the CIPCA gallery and online. The project will unfold in three phases: a creation residency and exhibition in the CIPCA gallery and an online exhibition produced by La Centrale. Adapted within the context of the pandemic, this project intends to create a bridge between the artistic communities of Yaoundé and of Quebec.

From June 1 to 19, CIPCA’s gallery will host the artist Ruth Belinga for a creation residency in collaboration with Fabiola Ecot Ayissi, curator and director of CIPCA. From June 19 to 25, Ruth Belinga will present the results of her residency in the form of an exhibition at CIPCA and a performance presented during the exhibition’s opening on June 19. The final phase of the project will be presented on June 25, when Au Jardin d'Éden will open as an online exhibition. The online exhibition will invite the public to follow the different stages of the project's realization, to discover the artist's creative process and to see the final performance.

The performance Au Jardin d'Eden, explores the forest and the woman, victims of our violence, and seeks to resist the demise of these spaces / "sacred" bodies. Belinga’s performance questions the place of the body and the beliefs of the other in the face of the deforestation systematically practiced by contemporary societies in the midst of full urbanization. It establishes a parallel between rape by deforestation, the beliefs of peoples for whom the forest (tree) is a significant spiritual symbol, and the non-respect for the intimacy of the human being whose forest spaces are often transformed into products of exploitation. The exploration of the female body, which is a constant in Ruth Belinga’s work, brings us back to ancient Greek mythology where women/nymphs represent the goddesses of the forest, unfortunately devastated by the action of man.

The work Au Jardin d’Eden, aims then to put the man in front of his own conscience, by showing the cruelty of his acts towards nature and by extension, of his fellow, the woman.

Ruth Belinga
Involved in Cameroonian artistic life since the beginning, Ruth Belinga conducts research on the history of pictorial art in Cameroon. Holder of a Ph. D. in art history, she also teaches art history at the Institute of Fine Arts in Foumban (University of Dschang) while also being curator. She has published a number of articles in national and international peer review journals and magazines. Painter, video artist and performer, she has participated in several exhibitions in Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, France, Brazil, the Netherlands and the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Senegal and Canada.

Fabiola Ecot Ayissi
Founding member of the International Centre for African Cultural Heritage (CIPCA), a community art centre located in Yaoundé since 2015. Director of CIPCA and curator, Fabiola Ecot Ayissi is interested in the dynamics of artistic creation existing in Central Africa since independence (1960s). Specifically, her work focuses on Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, with artists such as Leandro Mbomio, Gaspar Gomán, Joseph-Francis Sumegne, Dieudonné Fokou, Ruth Afane Belinga, and Salifou Lindou. Through her curatorial practice, she works towards a contemporary approach to ancient African art, otherwise called "tribal" art.

CIPCA (International Centre for African Cultural Heritage) is a Cameroonian association based in the country’s capital, Yaoundé. CIPCA has operated as a community arts space from its current physical location since 2018. The Centre brings together cultural actors, researchers, creators, and those interested in preserving Africa’s heritage (visual arts and oral culture). The initiative was born from the desire to contribute to and revitalize, through artistic activities, the approach towards cultural heritage in Africa, whether tangible or intangible (sonic heritage), and to share this ambition with the largest number of people. CIPCA supports contemporary creation and proposes a reflection on ancient and contemporary art, archives and the promotion of local languages. The Centre welcomes the public and professionals to its space, including an art gallery and a library (books and digital archives). It also welcomes artists in residence. For more information:

Photo credit : Ruth Belinga, My name is, 2018. Photo : Kamissa Ma Koïta