Mame-Diarra Niang’s photographic work abstracts, fragments and decontextualises landscapes and portraits relating to her ancestral roots and Senegalese- Ivorian-French upbringing. Niang’s interrelated photographic series dwell on memory, selfhood and race. Call Me When You Get There (2020) examines themes of isolation, the fallibility of memory and the slippery construction of the self through distorted or glitched street view images collated from a mapping application. By withholding an immediate sense of clarity from the viewer, these uncanny and elusive images gesture at the opacity of the self.
Léthé (2021) is a dreamscape of abstracted portraits in which the self is dissolved into an unrecognisable subject. Printed on metallic paper, Sama Guent Guii (2021) is composed of ‘non-portraits’ that frame blurred subjects retreating from the point of focus. In this case, however, Niang applies parallel formal and conceptual motifs to her own relationship with Blackness, refusing to render it with granular definition and thereby maintaining its complexity.