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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Interview with Monsieur Diop

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Immerse Yourself!

Over the last six weeks, Dashboard Animals have given life to an empty space in the Ocean Village car park with their pop-up InSideOut Lightbox (beside Target). The latest collaboration is a full sensory immersion with Monsieur Diop, with multi-channel video projection and cameras, art installation and a live outside street-space. Seven spoke with the good Monsieur Diop to drill down on who he is and what he’s doing.

As a creative how would you describe yourself and the work you do?

I am intuitive, I try not to overthink or conceptualise too much. At first, there are feelings, energies, and emotions. I work in a repetitive flow of action, which puts me in a meditative state and allows me to act intuitively. After a session of work, I take a step back, I observe and realise my intentions. These reflections will set the plan for my next working session.

As a content creator, what drives you to want to alter people’s perceptions of reality?

I do collage work (some of my work is being shown at the Concetta Antico Gallery in Bangalow), installation work, and I am also a very active DJ around the Byron Shire.

At all times my aim is to grab people’s attention in a gentle and harmonious way.

I’m trying to take them out of their comfort zone on a trip they would not expect to be able to take.

On my own path through life, I’ve found myself in thousands of different situations, experiencing different levels of society in different parts of the world, experiencing different realities.

I believe that questioning our perceptions, understanding other realities, is a very important step towards tolerance and acceptance.

What process do you use to work up your content?

The first part of the process is accumulating material.

I use what is available around me; society’s leftovers and nature’s leftovers. One old lightbulb socket is boring, but once you have thousands of them you can do fantastic things. I find material at the tip, I also collaborate with different businesses who create ‘interesting rubbish’ for me.

It is very satisfying to realise that I am transforming rejected objects into art!

What do you love about the transient nature of pop-ups? How does this complement your art?

Pop-ups are creating a memory. Once they are physically gone, there is nothing left of the structure, just the experience, only the memory remains. Just like a circus in the old days. There is a feeling left of wanting some more, wishing we could have more time to understand, to watch again.

My installation stays alive in people’s minds – it is now part of their reality forever.

How do you deal with the absence of control?

I love it! I believe in education, awareness, understanding, and respect. Not so much in rules and control.

In France, we say rules are only made to be broken. Which is why our grammar is so complicated!

Control stops people from thinking for themselves, it is the enemy of tolerance.

This is why I have decided to become an artist. In the art field possibilities are endless, there is no control, everything can be done in the name of art.

What do you have planned for the Ocean Village Installation?

This installation is a collaboration with Arianna Bossi and her project the Lightbox. She is transforming commercial spaces into cultural spaces, bringing art and culture directly to the people.

The room is next to Target in Ocean Shores, it used to be a gym. It has a massive window that she uses as a screen.
Our installation divides itself into three parts.

The outdoor car park is the space for people to meet and watch. The giant screen is giving hints of what is happening inside the space, and is supposed to trigger the curiosity for the people to step inside.

I have created a three-hour sound journey and we are giving people wireless headphones.

On the Inside, people first step into a space that works as a transition.

It is an empty room full of colours, fog and light. With their shadow, through the screen, they can communicate with the other people outside in the car park.

As they make their way through, they find a five metre geodesic dome, the core of this installation. Set as a voodoo nest to rebirth. The dome is full of tangled eclectic objects, organic and plastic, a bizarre saturation of society’s leftovers.

Yet we are not entering a junkyard – but a rather mystic space.

Thursday 5 and Friday 6 of November 7–10pm. Bookings are not necessary, but warmly recommended. The show runs continuously. OUTSIDE and INSIDE sessions are 20–30mins. The price for OUTSIDE only are $10 (includes headsets). For OUTSIDE and INSIDE: $30 (includes headsets). Saturday 7 Nov, 5–7pm Monsieur Diop will auction his artworks.

All the deets are on Facebook: Monsieur Diop.

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