From 30/09/11 to 19/11/2011
During Photoquai 2011, the 3rd biennial exhibition of world images organised by the Musée du Quai Branly, baudoin lebon gallery presents Synchronicity, an exhibition curated by the collective On The Roof. This exhibition brings together twelve lens based artists from the African continent and its diaspora, active in Africa and on the international art scene. Some of these artists are shown in Paris for the first time.
Photography and video are their chosen language to explore urban subjects in highly personal ways. These artists work in Ghana, Cameroon, Algeria, Angola, Togo, Benin, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and also in Europe and the United States.
The selected artworks reveal dynamic and diverse points of view on contemporary African photography and highlight connexions with the rest of the world. Fundamentally engaged in current thinking, this generation of artists is in total synchronicity with contemporary creativity and offers alternative imagery and meaning. Between realism and fiction, these artists are questioning societies in complete mutation.
While James Barnor and his extraordinary photographic archives plunge us back to the period post-Independence in Ghana and to the multicultural London of the 1960s, Akintola Hanif documents the marginalisation of certain Afro-American communities in New Jersey today in his portrait series Black Hiroshima and Blue and Grey. Far from any clichés about the island, Malala Andrialavidrazana's Ny Any Aminay reveals peoples' intimate spaces in Madagascar.
In the Doors series, Calvin Dondo uses the glass door of studio as a frame to capture the silhouettes of inhabitants of Harare. In the series called Ecstatics, Abraham Oghobase performs to question the place of an individual in a metropolis like Lagos. In the form of parodies, Em’Kal photographic series Rio dos Camaroes and Grace Ndiritu's video To Africanize Is To Civilize manipulate symbols of colonial past.
With a certain nostalgia and aestheticism, N’krumah Lawson Daku evokes his return to Cotonou and his Togolese roots in the series Kraftwerk Made in Cotonou.
Far from any questions of identity, Steeve Bauras from Martinique integrates his black and white photographs into a startling three-dimensional construction: beyond P, Chile, 2006-2009.
François-Xavier Gbré has a formal and pictorial approach in the series called Tracks which focuses on the imprint of time on architecture; in his photograph, a swimming pool in Bamako becomes a sculpture.
Unkept monuments dedicated to martyrs and political commemoration steles in public spaces in Algeria are recording with a dose of irony by Amina Menia in her series entitled Chrysanthemums.
Kiluanji Kia Henda humorously tackles historical monuments dating from the Portuguese colonisation in Angola. Redefining the Power I (Series 75) encourages the rewriting of the history of this country in order to imagine its future.
FInally, the Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga presents Tongue, a sound piece that documents a Swahili lesson between a brother and a sister. The audible dissonance, complicity and effort are proof of transmission in progress.
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