Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Photography | Africa Shines Through

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Zarita Zevallos
Imperium 2, 2017
Archival pigment print



Refraction: New Photography
of Africa and its Diaspora
Steven Kasher Gallery
NYC | USA
19 April 2 June 2018



Keyezua
Fortia (1), 2017
Giclée print on
Hanhemühle paper



Crack it. Smash it. Break it up into little pieces and scatter it. Glass will continue to refract rays of light that pass through it. This show sets out to demonstrate how cultural identity – in this case, African – reacts in a similar way.

Often ripped from their roots and transported many thousands of miles, or forced to flee wars and pogroms, Africans have seen their cultural identity subdued and trampled upon but never entirely transmuted.

Shawn Theodore
All I Ever Wanted Was
A Reason To Be
, 2018

Archival pigment print



Nona Faustine
Over Her Dead Body,
Tweed Courthouse,
Brooklyn, NY
, 2013

Archival pigment print



Stan Squirewell
Afrosaxson, 2017
Mixed media collage



Flying in the face of centuries of adversity, recent decades have seen the emergence of a new generation of photographers of African descent, based in many different locations across the globe, including Africa itself, with a rich diversity of approaches, determined to reclaim and to reassert their cultural heritage.

Eyerusalem Adugna Jirenga
The City of Saints VII, 2017
Digital archival print



Rendered entirely contemporary by its use of modern photography techniques, such as performative self-portraiture, collage, montage and digital manipulation, while their work – captured through fine quality glass camera lenses – makes bold references to traditional African values, rites and rituals, it is nevertheless undoubtedly characterised by the refractive process that African cultural identity has passed through.

Refraction: New Photography of Africa and its Diaspora at Steven Kasher Gallery presents the work of photographers born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, living in Addis Ababa, Luanda, Paris, New York and beyond.

All images courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


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Photography | Viviane Sassen’s Parasomnia

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Viviane Sassen: Parasomnia
Text by Moses Isegawa
Prestel
First published, 2011
Second printing, 2012

Award-winning Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen’s monograph features photographs taken during her journeys throughout West and East Africa. The images however, which she has grouped under the title Parasomnia – the name of a sleep disorder involving strange movements, sleep-walking, talking, emotions and terror – are far more than mere travel pictures.

Sassen’s work is the result of an entirely personal, original approach to her subjects. She sees shape and form with the eye of a sculptor; shadow played off against strong light as an abstract artist sees and considers it. Invariably intriguing and remarkable, sometimes her images, though patently tangible, have a surreal quality and appear mysterious, otherworldly.

This exquisitely-produced large-format book, designed by Antwerp-based -SYB- in cooperation with the photographer, might be the catalogue for a show of fine art photography; it could be reportage, but just as easily some of its stark and hauntingly elegant images could illustrate fashion. Indeed, Sassen’s stamping ground is all of these areas and more. Having previously been awarded the Prix de Rome in 2007, last year she won an ICP Infinity Award in the Applied/Fashion/Advertising Photography section. Her phenomenal list of clients has included: Aquascutum, Missoni, Adidas/Stella McCartney, Diesel, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and also Vodaphone, Siemens and Vitra. She has had fashion and portrait commissions from, among others, 10 Magazine, Another Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Wallpaper, Vogue France, as well as newspapers Le Monde and the left-wing, progressive Libération.

The photographer’s pictures of mostly young, urban Africans, still life and buildings in Parasomnia evoke a new Africa emerging from the old, struggling to find an identity and a direction in the 21st century, the nightmares of its dark past and often still violent present still causes for general concern, and of many a sleepless night for its inhabitants. They possess a carefully-crafted, consistent ambiguity that challenges the viewer to invent a narrative. Chameleone, a short, lyrical story by novelist Moses Isegawa – who went to live in the Netherlands for 15 years, before returning to his native Uganda in 2006 – written in Uganda in 2011, is included as an introduction to the book and functions as an emotive scene-setter.

Born in Amsterdam in 1972, Sassen lives and works in the city. She has produced a wide variety of memorable images, many of which were made in Africa, the continent in which she spent part of her youth. Libraryman Sweden recently published her photobook Die Son Sien Alles – first and second editions are already sold out – a series of photographs of interiors in the townships of Cape Town. Earlier this year, the images from Parasomnia were exhibited in the Pauza Gallery in Krakow, Poland, however her work has appeared internationally in some 60 solo and group shows since 2000. Viviane Sassen / Laboratorium, 17 years in and out of fashion will run at Museum Huis Voor Fotographie, Marseille, France from 15th December, 2012, to 2nd March, 2013.

Image
Parasomnia, 2010
©Viviane Sassen

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