For the primitive arts and most notably for vodun, there is Jacques Kerchache and only him.André Malraux
An artistic advisor and curator of exhibitions, Jacques Kerchache was a strong advocate of the Primitive Arts, promoting their entry into important French museum collections. It was under his initiative that the Pavillon des Sessions was created at the Louvre in 2001, as well as the musée du quai Branly in 2006. Jacques Kerchache also collaborated with the Fondation Cartier on many occasions, first on the thematic exhibitions À visage découvert (1992) and être nature (1998) as well as on the solo show of the Haitian artist Patrick Vilaire in Réflexion sur la mort (1997).
As early as the late sixties, Jacques Kerchache recognized the aesthetic potency and stunning originality of voodoo statuary and its forms. It was at this time, during his first trips to the birthplace of voodoo currently known as the Republic of Benin, that he began to bring together what has become the most significant existing collection of African voodoo statuary. The exhibition will present approximately hundred objects, including some that now belong to other private collectors.
An anthropomorphic assemblage of materials such as ropes, bones, shells, and pottery, voodoo sculptures assume a critical role in the practice of this ancient religious cult, still active today from the coasts of Togo to Western Nigeria. Covered with a thick layer of matter includes earth, palm oil and powder, these strange and uncanny sculptures emanate qualities of tension and foreboding. Their ambiguous aesthetics are closely linked to their role in both protecting their owners from danger and harming those responsible for their difficulties.