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

© Samuel Fosso. Courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

Samuel Fosso »

Samuel Fosso

Exhibition: – 13 Mar 2022

MEP - Maison Européenne de la Photographie

5/7 rue de Fourcy
75004 Paris

+33(0)1-44787500


www.mep-fr.org

Wed, Fri 11:20; Thu 11-22:00; Sat, Sun 10-20

Samuel Fosso
Samuel Fosso, Autoportrait Série « African Spirits », 2008
© Samuel Fosso. Courtesy Jean-Marc Patras / Paris

Retracing a career of almost 50 years, this retrospective exhibition of the work of Samuel Fosso brings together, for the first time in France, all of his major series.

“When I work, it’s always a performance that I choose to undertake. I link my body to this figure, because I want to translate its history”
– Samuel Fosso

Working between photography, self-portraiture and performance, his work occupies a central position in the international contemporary art world. Born in 1962 in Kumba, Cameroon, Fosso survived the civil war in Nigeria, before settling to live with his uncle in Bangui in the Central African Republic, where he began his career as a studio photographer at the age of 13. It was here that, outside of his daily work making portraits to order, he began making self-portraits for his own pleasure, creating a series of alternate identities challenging representational conventions. Ever since this time Fosso has continued to reinvent himself through his self-portraits which have allowed him to reach beyond the limitations usually imposed by society, geography and time. Above all his work questions what is at stake in accepted codes of representation and identity, as well as celebrating freedom of expression.

Comprising more than 300 prints, the exhibition brings together iconic series, lesser-known works, as well as archival material and previously unpublished, unseen images, displayed principally in large-scale ensembles. By offering overviews of both Fosso’s artistic practice and his personal story, and indeed the relationship between the two, the show offers a complete account of the artist.

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The exhibition has been produced by the MEP with the support of Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and in collaboration with our international touring partner.

The exhibition is the occasion to a collaboration between the MEP and the Steidl publishing house through the production of the French version of the first monographic work devoted to Samuel Fosso; Autoportrait, collective, ed Steidl, 2020.

Samuel Fosso dedicates this exhibition to the memory of Okwui Enwezor.