Thierry Oussou

  • Born 1988 in Allada, Benin.
  • Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Visual-conceptual artist Thierry Oussou is the creator of the “Impossible Is Nothing” project. Central to this artwork is a very special chair: the throne of King Béhanzin (1845‒1906), the last king of Dahomey, the kingdom now known as Benin.

The throne embodies the kingʼs position, but it also symbolizes how the colonial powers removed King Béhanzin from the throne at the end of the nineteenth century. In “Impossible Is Nothing”, the chair represents power, and Oussou poses questions about access to and ownership of cultural heritage and about craftsmanship and scholarship.

For Aichi Triennale 2022, Oussou will present the project “Equilibrium Wind”, which takes as its theme the production of cotton in Benin, the largest producer of cotton in Africa. In this work, the artist explores the industrialization of Africa by shining a light on people who work in the cotton plantations using artisanal methods. He traces the history of the slave trade, visually showing the impact that the taking of land from slaves has in our societies today.

  • White Gold from the project “Equilibrium Wind”, 2021
  • Courtesy of the artist