In West Africa cosmogony and geomancy, the minus is the sign used to interpret the past, the present and the future of the matter of the Universe. In Togo, it is visible in allthe traditional manifestations, from architecture to rituals.
For me, this sign is the expression of the need to make the missing object appear, that in which the interiority of the human soul has always been projected, in order to be able to define its existence, despite the impossibility of underlining the furrow that supports it, for matter (Earth and the Universe) is fleeting and doesn’t stop. I construct non/existent spaces, in order to arouse the onlooker’s intuition of matter in movement.
Ako Atikossie, born in Zalivé, Togo, in 1980. His artistic education started at maestro Dabla Ayaovi Sessofia’s atelier in Lomé. In 2006 he moved to Italy when he continued his artistic research and practice as a self-taught artist. He currently lives and works in Milan.
The minus sign is a starting point and of arrival: a chance departure within a limited arrival and an imaginary sphere like the Earth and particles.
In his painterly research, Ako Atikossie adds the minus sign in various directions, creating shapes, spaces, and geometric dimensions. An electric minus, known as an electron, leads us to understand and investigate the bases and the components of matter.
The use of this sign is the expression of a lack or the need to make the missing object appear, that in which the interiority of the human soul has always been projected, to be able to define its existence, despite the impossibility of underlining the furrow that supports it, for matter (Earth and the Universe) is fleeting, mute and doesn’t stop. Undefinable in terms of its being quantum and thought.
Ako Atikossie grasps the information concerning the many branches of science, including the natural and the applied sciences. This is why painting, sculpture, and sometimes also installation constitute the ideal media for Atikossie to recount the past, the present, and the future, trying to construct or repeat non/existent shapes and spaces, to arouse the onlooker’s intuition or the déjà vu of matter in motion.
Ako Atikossie plays with undulations, kinetics, and optics, which are the focal points of his research. Subtracting down to the particles of matter is a modern-day undertaking of science; my intent through art is to investigate these themes that lead us into the future. Atikossie analyzes the possible reactions between technology that proceeds at an unstoppable rate and the artistic culture of the post-WWII years, such as Minimalism, Op Art and kinetic art, which has opened up an infinite range of abstract visions of the world in the constant parallel evolution of the afterlife and the beforelife, i.e. life on Earth. If we stop on our initial impact with the matter, even its most complex surface becomes simpler.
Solo Exhibitions: 2021 “The Minus Sign”, Suburbia Contemporary; 2021 “Confini identitari”, La Portineria, Firenze, a cura di Black Month History Florence e La Portineria; 2019 “Suite proporzionale”, Calisto Cafè, Valiate; 2018 Museo del Carcere “Le Nuove”, Torino; 2015 “Europa o l’assenza”, Cattedrale della Fabbrica del Vapore di Milano, a cura di Paolo Ferrari; “L’absence de dialogue”, Supernova Gallery a Pavia, a cura di Mariangela Calisti; 2010 “XXI Settimana d’arte”, Centro di Eccellenza Valle delle cartiere di Toscolano Maderno (BS)
Group Exhibitions: 2019 Premio Cairo, Palazzo Reale, Milano; 2016 LA BIENNALE ARTE &INDUSTRIA utopia = realtá Labin Istria (Croazia); 2015 “Shapes”, Circoloquadro Milano; “Amichevol…Mente”, Galata Museo del Mare di Genova; 2014 “Rooms”, Palazzo Bottigella Gandini a Pavia; “Statements”, Circolquadro, Milano; 2012 “Corpo, Paesaggio informe”, Atelier Chagall, Milano; “Koiné e discorso sulla realtà”, Palazzo Zenobio a Venezia; Galleria Aldrado Da ponte a Lodi; “Micr’Art”, Galleria PasspArtout a Pero (Mi); 2010 “Etno-Antropologia dell’Arte Contemporanea”, Galleria Accademia Contemporanea, Milano.
Prizes: 2019 Finalista Premio Arte Cairo Editore – Pittura