"At the beginning was the Biennale of Arts and Literature. At the base ground, the willingness of the senegalese authorities to renew the great events which placed definitly Dakar as international crossroads of culture. The Dakar Biennale was also an answer to the request of the intellectuals and creators of Senegal and Africa for a periodical meeting, on the continent. A meeting that intends to estimate the state of artistic or literary creation, to seek ressources of quality production and conditions of a better promotion.
Unlike many events on the continent, the Dakar Biennale is not just under the responsibility of the government of Senegal, but also initiated and organized by it. But the international feature of this event is conveyed by the implication of personalities of diverse boundaries, at different levels for its realization. After two editions, one with a literary, the other with an art purpose, the Biennale of Dakar became, since 1996 the Biennale of Contemporary African Art.
The aim was to bestow on the Biennale a personality and a vocation in once and always in a sovereign way. To gather periodically Visual arts profesionnals, to submit to the international critic the state of african creation, to ensure a better promotion for the african artists from the continent, to organize the reflection and to present analysis on the conditions of this creation, the ways and techniques of expression, the inspiration sources, the influences, the means and the conditions of diffusion, the society itself and the new relationships between artists and a permanently changing environment, are some of the ambitions on which are based the orientations defined and implemented since 1996.
On the fringe of the official exhibition places, several spaces in the city are occoupied by environmental shows that present of course events of inequal qualities, but allow also, often, to discover extremely innovative propositions, some of them of a noticeable esthetical value. In that way the Dak’Art Off gives to the Biennale a remarkable vitality and a popular dimension. On this point, the general Secretary of the Dakar Biennale commits to ensure a better visibility to this component of the Dak’Art, a real widening through the number of projects and places has been noted during the former editions.
"Our Biennale", the african artists are saying, aware that Dak’Art is first of all for the whole Africa. For many of them, Dak’Art is an important step in the evolution of their artist’life. For many amateurs and professionals, it is well placed in the international cultural diary. Finally, for all the partners, the missions and ambitions of the Biennale of African Contemporary Art deserve the constancy of their commitment. Let’s thank them for it.
It is with the strength of this renewed confidence and of expectations every time greater that for the first time, the international selection is entrusted to a team of curators led by the ivorian Yacouba Konaté. Also for the first time, the choice is taken to present african and diaspora artists all together. Two major options that we offer to the opinion of our attentive and informed visitors.
We are interessed in their advices and propositions. Expecting to note them, I welcome them to the seventh edition of the Biennale of African Contemporary Art."
Ousseynou Wade, general secretary.
Dak’Art 2006 presents from 5th of may untill 5th of june many events : the International Exhibition (87 artists from 27 countries), the Salon of Design, the Diaspora exhibition, the Meetings and Exchanges during the first week, the Dak’Art_Lab, the Dak’Art Off exhibitions in the whole Dakar and in the regions.