Laetitia KY (Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1996) is an artist and activist. After studying business and administration, since 2015 she has dedicated all her time to her activities, and African culture has become the focal point of her quest, rediscovering impressive and inspiring aesthetic imagery, particularly the hairstyles of African women from the pre-colonial period. KY works on the metamorphoses of bodies and definitions of the contemporary human condition. Her paintings and sculptures, created using her hair and utilising photography and video media, celebrate the artist’s roots and are a powerful tool of communication designed to raise public awareness around issues of race, gender equality and social justice. Her social media accounts are her primary means of outreach, and she has taken part in many solo and group exhibitions; the most recent include a double solo exhibition at Made in Cloister, Naples (IT, 2023) and participation in the 59th Venice Biennale, Ivory Coast National Pavilion (IT, 2022).
A SCULPTURE AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE VILLAGE WITH BRAIDS OF ROPE LEADING TO HIDDEN PHOTOS: THIS IS MY PROJECT "FOLLOW THE BRAID", IN WHICH THE THEME OF METAMORPHOSIS IS USED FOR THE PORTRAITS AS A TRIBUTE TO THE CASTLE, BUT IS ALSO THE ESSENCE OF MY WORK AND ACTIVISM
The Ivorian artist Laetitia KY has developed her project within Rocca Sinibalda, establishing a profound and direct relationship with all parts of the medieval village. The fundamental topos is the Castle named “delle Metamorfosi” (of the Metamorphoses) for its frescoes clearly inspired by Ovid’s famous text. The theme of metamorphosis has always been central to KY’s artistic practice. She uses her own hair as an expressive medium to create works in which she transforms herself every time, putting her work at the service of the feminist struggle: weaving her hair into symbolic images that highlight women’s rights, fighting patriarchy, violence and social impositions.
Follow the Braid is the title of the project in which the artist has created a sculpture representing herself on a 1:1 scale, placed in the centre of the town’s main square. The statue’s hair is represented by long braided pitch black ropes, which, with a performative gesture, will be pulled out, simulating the extensions used by KY herself in her artistic practice, winding and snaking through the streets of Rocca Sinibalda. Each braid leads to a hidden place where a portrait of the artist can be found, like a kind of treasure. Following the braids, one can discover all the photographs and see the different metamorphoses created by Laetitia KY for the village. In fact, in each one she has created motifs with her hair, inspired by details of the surrounding area, be they animal or vegetable. The set of works will symbolise the way in which women all over the world are in many cases forced to transform themselves and “metamorphose”, making compromises according to their setting.
In addition to the live performance at the opening on 25 June, the artist has decided to donate a selection of books on feminist themes, which will create the KY section in the Rocca Sinibalda library.
01. Laetitia KY, The Hair Goddess, 2023. Terracotta, 165 x 64 cm.
Piazza della Vittoria
02. Laetitia KY, Growth, 2023. UV printing on Dibond, 35 x 50 cm.
Via degli Archi, 2-8
03. Laetitia KY, The Dragon of Rocca Sinibalda, 2023. UV printing on Dibond, 35 x 50 cm.
Via del Castello
04. Laetitia KY, Sky is Not the Limit, 2023. UV printing on Dibond, 35 x 50 cm.
Via degli Archi
05. Laetitia KY, Light in the Darkness, 2023. UV printing on Dibond, 35 x 50 cm.
Via del Sole, 10
06. Laetitia KY, Water Goddess, 2023. UV printing on Dibond, 35 x 50 cm.
Via del Popolo
THE PROJECT CONSISTS OF A 1:1 SCALE STATUE OF THE ARTIST’S BODY, COMPLETE WITH HAIR MADE FROM LONG BRAIDED ROPES THAT BRANCH OUT THROUGH THE STREETS OF THE VILLAGE, LEADING THE PUBLIC TO DISCOVER A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS INSTALLED IN HIDDEN PLACES
Rocca Sinibalda is a small medieval village of 780 inhabitants located between the hills of Alta Sabina and the woods of the Turano Valley. It is one of the stops on the Way of St Benedict of Norcia and develops around the immense medieval castle – redesigned in the 16th century by Sienese architect Baldassarre Peruzzi – that dominates the valley below. Between Rocca Sinibalda and its hamlets, in addition to a splendid view, there are some Ancient Roman remains. Other highlights include the old bridge of Beatrice Cenci, the imposing dam built in the 1930s that gave rise to Lake Turano, the Belvedere, the Agapito Miniucchi Civic Museum and the Museo Diffuso delle Arti Contadine (Widespread Museum of Rural Arts) in the hamlet of Posticciola. In the hamlet Vallecupola, on the other hand, is the Angelo di Mario House Museum, which has a library of around 9,000 volumes. It was set up in order to revitalise the small village and its unspoilt natural habitat. Rocca Sinibalda has for years promoted a packed schedule of mainly summer events, such as the Rigodon Theatre's ‘Endecameron Youth Exchange’ project; ‘Transhumanza’, which re-enacts the traditional migration of cattle; the ‘Leaves in the sunshine’ international music festival; the ‘Castle of invented destinies’, which includes various activities; the literature and film festival ‘Libri a tutto schermo’ (Books on screen); and ‘Rocca&Gusto’ dedicated to local products and producers.