MoCA of the Month
Raw Material Company is a center for art, knowledge and society established in Dakar since 2008. It is an art initiative unfolding within the realms of exhibition making, commissioning, knowledge sharing, and archiving of theory and criticism. It works to foster appreciation and growth of African artistic and intellectual creativity. The underlying rationale of its program is the firm belief in visual arts as a potent tool capable of shifting views, and ignite engagement for art practice as a viable path for social and political transformation. The program is transdisciplinary and is equally informed by urbanity, literature, film, architecture, politics, fashion, cuisine, and diaspora. Raw’s operational tools are the resource centre RAWBASE, RAW Gallery, a 100 sq m. exhibition space, and RAW Residency, a residential facility for artists, curators and writers specializing in photography, video and art in the public space. La Compagnie, a roof top bar/restaurant, rounds up the concept of an independent space for art practice and critical exchange.
RawbaseThe core of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY is the resource and education centre, RAWBASE, offering a sustained discursive program through artist talks, portfolio review sessions, masterclasses, symposia, lectures, panel and round table discussions and research presentations.
RAWBASE aims at establishing an extensive library/archive on contemporary art with an emphasis on African and Africa related practices. The facility is directed towards a national as well as an international educational and research audience.
RAW Gallery is the exhibition space of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY. The objective of the exhibition program is to provide a professional contemporary framework for art in the white cube gallery space as well as the public space. The gallery has 100 sqm suitable for small group and solo shows.
In addition, and whenever the volume of any given exhibition extends the capacity of RAW Gallery, we reach out to partner institutions such as the National Gallery and Musée Théodore Monod (IFAN). The curatorial rationale is an organic balance between the promotion of young and emerging artists and the acclaim of mid-career and established artists. The exhibition program also aims at developing curatorial activity as a field of work in the African context. The inaugural exhibition of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY in April 2011 was Oil Rich Niger Delta, a body of work that the photographer George Osodi developed over the course of many years of research in the Niger Delta Region in Nigeria.
RAW Residency forms the residential program of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY. It consists of two studio-apartments located on the premises of the center. It is directed towards artists, architects, academics, curators and critical writers. It facilitates production of new works that provide a visual and critical discourse on social and political issues. The underlying rationale of this program resides in the firm belief in the functionality of art for social awareness. The residency program is thus strongly attached to community engagement as a mean to reintegrate art practice as a defining part of society. The production program makes special efforts at creating a dialogue between the public space as a stage of artistic interventions and its users. The overall aim of the residency program is to sustain a continuous presentation of and a confrontation with African and Africa related artistic practices.
La CompagnieLa compagnie is the culinary extension of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY:
“We consider cuisine as the primal expression of creativity. Therefore running a bar and a restaurant goes beyond an effort towards sustainability. It becomes a sensual and visual extension of the overall philosophy of sharing and educating that underlies the concept of the institution. Located al fresco on the roof top of the center the bar/restaurant serves as an informal space for meeting and exchange. Professionals of gastronomy run the restaurant separately. We serve West and Central African specialities in a sophisticated yet relaxed setting. It is endeavored whenever possible to have the ideas developed in the art center resonate in the food plates.”
Raw Material Company
A Center for Art, Knowledge and Society
4074 Bis Sicap Amitié 2
Tel.: +221 33 864 0248