Ibo, 2008
  • © Adagp - Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo

"Ibo" (2008) is a bronze made from a mould of a Niger fetish, a piece that symbolises the primitive art popular with the avant-garde since the beginning of the 20th century.

Made in broner and sitting on a base, the sculpture is chrome-plated. Caught in a contradiction between the elevation and domestication of a ritual object, it doubly subverts colonial history: Lavier both acts as an ethnographer and deconstructs the process of appropriation of the Western artist tradition. The resulting work is dogged by the endless paradoxes of its status, of which all interpretation is problematic. “I bought the ibo sculpture, the first, in Brussels in 2006. I thought I would paint it or chrome-plate it. Then this became unthinkable, and I thought it would be much more interesting to precipitate it into the history of Western sculpture by casting it,” explains the artist..