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Jay Ramier

Keep the fire burning (gadé difé limé)
From 26/11/2021 to 13/03/2022
For the 10th anniversary of Lasco Project, the Palais de Tokyo invites Jay Ramier, artist considered as one of the pioneers of French hip-hop, a creolised and postcolonial movement.

Jay Ramier’s generation is that of Kompa, soukouss, Gwo Ka, the moonwalk, the beginnings of hip-hop and graffiti, the apogee of free radios like Radio Nova, the jazz rock nights of the Bataclan and “Chez Roger boite Funk”, the jam sessions of Dee Nasty, the Paco Rabanne centre and the scratches of GrandMixer D.ST on the track “Rock It” by jazzman Herbie Hancock. As a DJ sampling sounds to create a new syncopated music to the creolized rhythms of the 1980s, Jay Ramier combines paintings, images, archives and opaque sounds to obtain visual and sound amalgams questioning the collective narratives of the African diaspora with his family narrative.



“Sometimes, I use photos. Sometimes, I pretend to be a DJ when I’m not. Sometimes, I like to breakdance when I don’t know how to. But that’s part of my culture, those are the things I know and that’s part of my personality, my artistic identity, to show these things, to show them out of context.”

Jay Ramier
Teaser de l’exposition « Keep the fire burning (gadé difé limé) » de Jay Ramier

At the Palais de Tokyo, Jay Ramier observes the intersection of black diasporas through music considered as “a privileged vector in terms of spirituality, but also a social, philosophical and political discourse.” With a particular interest in Funk– a sulphurous black American music that emerged in the 1970s against a backdrop of racial tensions– Jay Ramier is interested in the decor (the glitter of the costumes, concert lights, typography of logos) and what it contains (the tragedy and politics that permeate these musicians and the lives of those they represent). A way to return to the origins of hip-hop with which Jay Ramier developed politically and artistically.

Transforming the exhibition space into a concept hall from the 1970s, the walls are dark, at times shimmering, the lights blinding, to transform the works into sparks. The title, Keep the Fire Burning (Gadé Difé Limé) is an homage to James Baldwin and the words of Gwen McCrae. “The flame of love is about to die / We’re gonna fan the fire, come on along.” Linking Paris, the Bronx and the Caribbean, Jay Ramier puts his work into dialogue with that of Martine Barrat, Hervé Télémaque, Ariles de Tizi, Ydania Li Lopez, Edouard Glissant. The artist also invited Pascale Obolo and the magazine AFRIKADAA to disrupt the exhibition with a performative editorial act on the silent rebellions in the Antilles.

From November 26, 2021 to March 13, 2022

With : Martine Barrat, Edouard Glissant, Ydania Li Lopez, Pascale Obolo, Hervé Télémaque, Ariles de Tizi

Curator : Hugo Vitrani

With the support of

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