The video-installation Swinguerra by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca in the MEP Studio

The MEP Studio, a space devoted to emerging artists, welcomes the video-installation Swinguerra realized by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca. Exhibited to great critical acclaim in the Brazilian Pavilion of the 2019 Venice Biennale, Swinguerra is presented for the first time in Paris.

At once seductive, powerful and challenging, Swinguerra marks a new level of international success for Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, in their ongoing analysis of the relationships between popular forms of music and dance, and questions of social and gender identity.

Working first with local singers and MCs, and subsequently dancers and choreographers in Recife, Brazil, where both artists have been based for many years, their joint practice speaks to urgent questions of inclusion, acceptance and most importantly the dignity and self-assurance of the subjects with whom they collaborate to produce their films.

Swinguerra, as the title suggests, proposes a kind of battle or dance-off between three groups of mostly non-binary dancers, within which the audience takes a central role, positioned physically between the two screens that make up the installation. Somewhere between documentation of real physical and creative skill and a incredible performance imagined purely for the camera, Swinguerra is both an interrogation and a celebration of charismatic personalities and creative energies that are too often considered marginal by mainstream culture.

Bringing together the life and rhythms of Brazilian street music and culture from the point of view of the LGBTQ+ and transgender communities, Swinguerra has been both controversial and critically successful in a country with a hardline conservative political elite that has sought to downplay questions of social inclusion. Swinguerra stands proudly for an alternative vision of Brazil – young, confident and brash – that refuses to be limited by over-determined categories of gender, race and class.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Sao Paulo / Rio de Janeiro.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Sao Paulo / Rio de Janeiro.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Sao Paulo/Rio de Janeiro.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Sao Paulo / Rio de Janeiro.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Sao Paulo / Rio de Janeiro.

Partners

Media partners 

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Agence Relations Media
Catherine Philippot
cathphilippot@relations-media.com
+33 (0)1 40 47 63 42

Contact MEP
Marion Devys
mdevys@mep-fr.org
+33 (0)1 44 78 75 28

First retrospective dedicated to Samuel Fosso

The MEP is pleased to present the first major retrospective of French-Cameroonian photographer Samuel Fosso. This landmark exhibition spans his five-decade career, revisiting bodies of work that explore issues central to the contemporary art scene. Bringing together emblematic series, lesser-known works and never-before-seen photographs from his youth, the exhibition retraces a career that oscillates between personal introspection and collective narratives.

Born in 1962 in Cameroon, Samuel Fosso began as a photographer at a very young age, working in the studio tradition of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. He became known for his self-portraits and photographic performances and gained international recognition when he participated in the first edition of the Rencontres de Bamako photography festival in 1994.

In 1997, he produced his iconic series “Tati”—playing the role of various archetypes, from the Liberated American Woman to the Golf Player and the Rocker. Humorous and biting, these images profoundly call into question the concepts of personal and social identity. The ability to enter into other lives, other journeys, is a common thread running through all of Samuel Fosso’s work, in which he explores the freedom to reinvent himself and create his own narrative.

Although the genre of autofiction, and more specifically self-portraiture, has been widely used by artists since the 1970s, Samuel Fosso gives this practice a new dimension, one that is all at once political and historical, fictional and intimate. Embodying key historical figures and social archetypes in front of the camera has become for him not only a way of existing in the world, but also a clear demonstration of the power of photography to construct myths.

Gathering together more than 200 images, including vintage prints from the 1970s, iconic colour and black-and-white series from the 1990s and 2000s including “Tati”and “African Spirits”, and such recent projects as “SIXSIXSIX”, an extensive series of large-format Polaroids, this exhibition provides the first comprehensive look at Samuel Fosso’s pioneering work.

__________

It will travel to several international locations, including Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, the Neatherlands and the Walther Collection in Neu-Ulm, Germany. On the occasion of the exhibition and in collaboration with the MEP, Steidl is publishing, the French version of the monograph Autoportrait, the first comprehensive survey of the Samuel Fosso’s work.

The exhibition is curated by Clothilde Morette in collaboration with Samuel Fosso and his gallerist, Jean-Marc Patras.

The artist dedicates this exhibition to the memory of Okwui Enwezor.

 

Patrons and partners

This exhibition is organised by the MEP with the support of the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, and with the invaluable assistance of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait Série « African Spirits », 2008

© Samuel Fosso - musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait Série « Black Pope », 2017

© Samuel Fosso courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait « Emperor of Africa », 2013

© Samuel Fosso courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait Série « Tati », La Femme américaine libérée des années 70, 1997

© Samuel Fosso courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait Série « Tati », Le Golfeur, 1997

© Samuel Fosso courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

In the Studio

Alongside Samuel Fosso’s exhibition, the MEP Studio, our space dedicated to emerging artists, welcomes the video-installation Swinguerra by Barbará Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, in their ongoing analysis of the relationships between popular forms of music and dance, and questions of social and gender identity.

Opening on the 21st of January 2022, the Studio will host Pamela Tulizo series “Face to face”, in which she presents thirteen portraits of a Congolese woman split between her identity and the role she is given by the media.

Downloads

  • Press kit

    PDF

    Download
  • Visual resources

    You will need a password to download the visuals. To obtain it, please contact us by email at the address above.

    Download

Press contact

Agence Relations Media
Catherine Philippot
cathphilippot@relations-media.com
+33 (0)1 40 47 63 42

MEP Studio comes to Kyoto

The MEP presents the group show Women Artists from the MEP Studio at the 9th edition of KYOTOGRAPHIE International Festival, from September 18th to October 17th 2021. This is the second project in a long-term partnership between MEP and KYOTOGRAPHIE.

The exhibition which takes place at the dedicated gallery space of Hosoo in Kyoto has been specially designed for Kyotographie, as part of its “ECHO” season, with the support of Women in Motion, a Kering program that shines a light on the talent of women in the fields of arts and culture. Women Artists from the MEP STUDIO brings together the works of five young French women artists, selected by the MEP in order to reveal the current richness, diversity and originality of emerging french photography and lens-based practices, showing the very best new work exhibited in Paris at the crossroads of genres and disciplines. Marguerite Bornhauser, the duo Nina Cholet & Clothilde Matta, Adèle Gratacos de Volder and Manon Lanjouère embody a vibrant artistic scene in France whose practices and aesthetics are characterized by hybridity of the images and a new confidence about approaches to the photographic and filmic image. Using still and moving image, text and installation, these multi-faceted talents have in common a keen sense of narrative and a taste for blurring the lines between fictions and the realities from which they are drawn.

https://www.kyotographie.jp

Sans titre, "Moisson Rouge", 2018 © Marguerite Bornhauser

Sans titre, "Moisson Rouge", 2018 © Marguerite Bornhauser

Pétrification #1, "Demande à la poussière", 2017 © Manon Lanjouère

Au sud de nulle part, "Demande à la poussière", 2017 © Manon Lanjouère

Plan issu de Jamais indemnes, 2019 (18'43) © Adèle Gratacos

Plan issu de Jamais indemnes, 2019 (18'43) © Adèle Gratacos

I FEEL DIZZY, ELLES, Tanger, 2019 © Clothilde Matta & Nina Cholet

SHE LEFT THE HOTEL AT 7, ELLES, Tanger, 2019 © Clothilde Matta & Nina Cholet

Partners

This exhibition benefits from the support of  Women In Motion, a caring program that shines a light on the talent of women in the fields of arts and culture.You will need a password to download the visuals. To obtain it, please contact us by email at the address above.

Downloads

  • Press Kit

    PDF

    Download
  • Visual ressources

    You will need a password to download the visuals. To obtain it, please contact us by email at the address below.

    Download

Press contact

Marion Devys
mdevys@mep-fr.org
+33 (0)1 44 78 75 28

Residency Open Call

The MEP – Collection Gervanne + Matthias Leridon Collection – Cité internationale des arts Residency is a new residency program for emerging artists, dedicated to African photography, created by Gervanne and Matthias Leridon in collaboration with the MEP and the Cité internationale des arts.

The purpose of this residency is to support young African artists and to highlight practices that explore new forms of photography. The aim is also to promote artists’ mobility to enable them to share their work and expand their artistic and professional networks.

With this program, the Collection Gervanne + Matthias Leridon and its partners commit themselves to support the laureate’s project by offering him/her a special support and a three-month residency in the heart of Paris.

Residency

The recipient will be granted:
– a three-month artistic residency, from January 3rd to March 28th, 2022, at the Cité internationale des arts, in a studio with a work-place and a furnished living-place (bedroom, shower, kitchen, wifi), located in the heart of Paris, and near the MEP;
– a specific artistic and professional accompaniment: access to the networks and documentary resources of the three partners.

Calendar

– Open Call: from October 15th to November 14th
– Results: November 30th
– Residency: from January 3rd to March 28th

 

Apply here

Organizers

The MEP

Located in the heart of Paris in the historic Marais district, the MEP is an institution dedicated to photography. Its programming reflects its openness to current practices and new aesthetics by presenting exhibitions of artists of international stature and its commitment to emerging creation. Supported by the City of Paris, the MEP also houses a vast collection of post-war photographs and one of the largest specialized libraries in Europe.

Collection Gervanne + Matthias Leridon

The Gervanne + Matthias Leridon Collection is at once a human adventure, a story of passion, encounters, aesthetic impulses and artistic choices. Gathering several thousands of works, this collection is a reference in the art world. Gervanne and Matthias Leridon are keen to share with audiences around the world the personal commitment they have with each of the artists from the African continent. The Leridon Collection now includes works by more than 300 contemporary artists from 34 African countries.

Cité internationale des arts

The Cité internationale des arts is an artist residency that brings together artists in the heart of Paris and allows them to implement a creative or research project in all disciplines.

From two months to a year, the Cité internationale des arts allows artists to work in an favourable environment for artistic creation, and to meet culture professionals. The team of the Cité internationale des arts provides residents with individual support.

 

In the Marais or in Montmartre, the live-in studios (spaces for living and creating) allow residents to cohabit with more than 300 artists and art professionals of all generations, nationalities and disciplines. In collaboration with its many partners, the Cité internationale des arts opens several calls for applications on specific themes and/or projects throughout the year.