Yves Sambu (*1980 CD), Vanitas project, 2010-2017 
© Yves Sambu

IDEOLOGIES
3 June - 12 September 2021
Opening: 2 June 2021

Photography as a medium of imagery in particular is closely linked in its genesis to the imperial industrialisation of Western nation states and to the colonisation of the African continent in the 19th and early 20th century. The reverberation of photographs from this period is an expression of a permanent unconscious, but equally manipulatively employed conscious reproduction of myths and negativistic representations of this continent. For this reason, other perspectives, other art practices and other participants in the field of photography and related visual media are needed today. 

The photographic and cinematic works shown at the Museum Angewandte Kunst, deal directly or indirectly with historical abuses and the media image of "Africa". Yagazie Emezi, Mohau Modisakeng and Yves Sambu present an exploration of gender, poverty, beauty, the body, identity and the consequences of racism for the individual and the community, all drawn from within African societies. 

Yagazie Emezi (* 1989, Aba, NG) challenges the image of beauty that globalisation and a mostly Western European media image define as the standard, with her photo series “The Beauties of West Point”. With “Consumption of the Black Model”, she questions and examines how bodies can be dramatised by photographers on the one hand and serve the Western gaze on the other. 

In Mohau Modisakeng's (* 1986, Soweto, SA) films, large-format photographic prints, installations and performances, he deals with the consequences of racism for society, the community and the body, as well as the militarisation and deep divisions of South Africa during and after apartheid. Material, metaphor and the black body are the tools he uses to explore the impact of South Africa's violent history. 

Yves Sambu's (*1980, Lukula, COD) “Vanitas” project consists of a series of photographs dealing with "La Sape" and the Congolese "Sapeurs" (Dandies): colourful and luxurious men, mostly dressed in Western European luxury brands, strolling through the streets of Kinshasa. By having the subjects pose in cemeteries, Sambu creates an artificial pictorial space of being and appearing, far from the places of their actual appearance. 

Museum Angewandte Kunst
Schaumainkai 17, 60594 Frankfurt

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