I was here I saw here : François-Xavier Gbré

Centre d'art La Filature, Mulhouse, France 14 January - 23 February 2020

The 6 photographers invited to the festival Les Vagamondes are from Mali, Senegal, Mozambique and Côte d'Ivoire. Some, such as Omar Victor Diop, are accomplished in the tradition of precursors such as Malick Sidibé or Seydou Keïta, while summoning up the history of Western art and seeking to capture the diversity of societies and lifestyles in modern Africa. Others, such as François-Xavier Gbré, in touch with the time and geography of the territories they cross - from colonial remains to landscapes redefined by current events -, call upon the language of architecture as a witness to memory and social change. Whatever their influences - documentary, conceptual, architectural, portraiture or studio self-portraiture, fashion and hip-hop - the works are all crossed by the question of an elusive identity and question the place of Africans in world history. Often focused on topical subjects, more particularly on migration from Africa to Europe, their photographs are an attempt to reinvent the history of the black people, and thus the history of humanity and the notion of freedom.


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