*** PRESS RELEASE ***
« WAA DAKAR [dakarois] »
Exhibition by Antoine Tempé at BLABLA BAR, Bamako
from December 2, 2017 till January 31, 2018
As part of the OFF selection of the 11th edition of the African Photography Biennale in Bamako, BLABLA BAR exhibits a series of eight portraits of Dakar’s street tradesmen and women by photographer Antoine Tempé.
WAA DAKAR [dakarois] : Since the beginning of the millenium, Dakar, just like Bamako, has been changing rapidly; the white city located on its “green cape” has been developing at a blazing pace, its colonial houses and its pénc – the traditional lébou villages – giving way little by little to charmless buildings and houses.
Alongside these changes, some trades, legacies from the past, endure. The “Borom Sarret”, the horse cart driver to which the Senegalese filmmaker Sembène Ousmane paid tribute; the peanut vendor; the “Soleil” peddler, the daily newspaper dear to Djibril Diop Mambéty; the fishmonger; and so many more who to this day, remain indispensable in our African urban societies.
With this series, the dakarois photographer Antoine Tempé wishes to shine a light onto these craftsmen and women, before they vanish from the streets of our capitals and with them a certain memory of the city. In keeping with his documentary work on contemporary Africa, this body of work of Tempé’s will remain an important archive once these professions have disappeared from the cityscape.
In the manner of Richard Avedon in his series “In the American West”, shot in the early eighties, Antoine Tempé goes out inside the markets and on street corners to meet these characters . He takes their portraits at their workplace, in a mobile studio, while they are wearing their work clothes. The photographer also records the voices of each of these craftsmen and women talking about their trade and their city.
The abstraction of the model from its immediate surroundings through the cloth backdrop of the mobile studio gives these images a remarkable impact. Also, the treatment of color, reminiscent of black and white images from the past, brings out the nobility of these characters and lends them a timeless presence.
Through “Waa Dakar” Antoine Tempé wishes to underscore these undervalued and precarious professions, which are the living witnesses of the evolution of the African city.
Founder of the review Afrikadaa, Architect and Art Critic
BLABLA BAR : A beacon of the Bamako Encounters, itself in perpetual transformation and recently renovated with the help of numerous traditional craftsmen from the Malian capital, the BLABLA BAR, with its rough walls and eclectic style, lends a particular relevancy to the photographer’s work.
About Antoine Tempé : Born in 1960, French-American photographer Antoine Tempé has specialized in documenting African cultural scenes, through portraiture and photojournalism. After growing up in France, Antoine Tempé settled in New York in the ‘80s where he took up photography at first pursuing mostly dance photography. In 2010, after ten years commuting back and forth between New York and West Africa on assignments, he decided to settle on the Continent; since then, from his Dakar studio, he has been working for the international press and in advertising, while continuing to develop his personal artistic projects.
YCOS-Project : The production agency YCOS-Project, producer of the WAA DAKAR series, aims to provide support to artists by working with them on production, curatorial development, and on the promotion of their artistic projects to institutions and art galleries.
Exhibition opening on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 7:30 pm. The artist will be in attendance
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Press images available upon request.
Press contact :
Antoine Tempé, +221.77.646.83.01, firstname.lastname@example.org