Date 06.06 – 26.08.2018 

Place Sala Goya, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid

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The Elegant Senegal of the First Half of the 20th Century. Anonymous works from Saint-Louis y Mama Casset

The Ankaria Foundation organizes the photo exhibition “The Elegant Senegalof the First Half of the 20th Century. Anonymous from Saint-Louis and Mama Casset “, which is part of the PhotoEspaña program in its 20th Anniversary and that until August 26 at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.

The exhibition consists, on the one hand, of 30 photographs taken in the 1950s by an anonymous photographer from the Senegalese capital. Fourteen of the images are indoor taken, while the remaining sixteen were taken outdoors.

To this photographic body of works, which has been selected by the curators Pascal Martin Saint Leon, Jean Loup Pivin and Frédérique Chapuis, is added a selection formed by 20 images of one of the most reputed precursors of African photography, Mama Casset, whose influence will remain patent throughout West Africa along the twentieth century. It is a small repertoire of vintage copies that was saved from the fire that suffered the author’s study in 1982, ten years before his death.

All these photographs constitute a vestige of the first steps of the Senegalese photography, carried out by African photographers initiated in studies directed by Europeans and located in the coastal cities where the factories of the great European powers were located. These white photographers will create a whole imagery of the continent that does not correspond with the reality of the populations. His look will be less exotic, more modern and shows prosperous citizens, and will be resolved by a highly developed aesthetic and exceptional image quality. In the same exhibition a documentary about Mama Casset will be on view, made by an Italian production company, that serves as an introduction to the exhibition.

The photographs and their plates are part of the Revue Noire collection, founded in 1991 with the aim of paying attention to African contemporary art. Until its disappearance in 2001, the magazine published 34 issues, and became an international channel of information on African artistic production, as well as fostering a link between the artists of the continent and those who worked in the diaspora. Currently, Revue Noire is an editorial and documentary producer.

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