Romuald Hazoumè (Benin)

Romuald Hazoumè was born in Porto-Novo, in the Republic of Benin, in 1962. He was raised in the Yoruba tradition and traces his ancestry back to a powerful babalawo - a priest or specialist in the Ifa.

He is best known for his powerful mixed-media installation La bouche du roi (1997-2000) a reworking of the 1789 image of the slave ship Brookes, which made use of repurposed petrol cans, audio, video, photographic elements and spices. This dramatic investigation into the nature of slavery - both historical and modern - was widely exhibited in the U.K. as part of the centenary remembrance of the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. It is now in the collection of the British Museum.

Since then his work has been widely shown in many of the major galleries and museums in Europe and beyond, including the British Museum, the Guggenheim, Bilbao, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, ICP, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

In 2007, Hazoumè was the recipient of the prestigious Arnold Bode Prize at documenta12, in Kassel, Germany.