art me africa

Camara on Certain Mornings

Posted in art, mali, photography by artmeafrica on January 15, 2009

Certains matins, je suis le cactus de siberie, certains matins, 2005Mohamed Camara’s series, Certains Matins (certain mornings), possess the air of a sojourner’s memoirs to the center of rituals that usually, sometimes, and occasionally happen. His self-portrait, Certains matins, je suis le cactus de Sibérie, is a serenade of contrasting temperatures manifested in black skin against white snow. Certains matins, ma cousine me fait des trucs que je ne comprends pas, Certains matins, elle est la premiere à commencer la journeé à la fenetre, and Certains matins je prie mon dieu are homages to sacred aberrations. Yet Camara’s work, refreshingly, doesn’t offer definitive positions about post-colonial adaptation and the other usual  90s crit theory suspects

Stealing hearts on the international art circuit in 2003, Camara’s impressive early resume boasted all the widely traveled African art shows –Bamako 03, Bamako 05, Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography– alongside solo shows at Galerie Pierre Brullé in Paris, Zuiderpershuis in Belgium, and a 2004 Tate Modern solo exhibit, Untitled: Mohamed Camara. However since his Certains Matins series appeared in Bamako 2007, this digi-photographer-cum-footballer for Bamako has fallen off the radar save showing up in Galerie Hengevoss-Dürkop’s group show planet africa. Just maybe this lad of romantic liturgy will make a come back in this year’s Bamako 2009. If not, we’ll have to settle with murky editorial shots of footballing legs.


Sammy’s Spectacular Closet P.2

Posted in art, photography, Uncategorized by artmeafrica on January 7, 2009

Autoportrait, African SpiritsIf you thought lens daddy Samuel Fosso’s closet-o-dictator couldn’t have gotten better after Le Chef, then you ain’t seen his newest series, African Spirits. At Paris’s Galerie Jean Marc Patras ‘til March and the highlight of Foam International Photography Magazine’s issue number 17, ‘Portrait?’ the b+w series pulls together a dazzling troupe of friends, enemies, heroes, and all around shady dudes. Flashing himself into Mobutu, Patrice Lumumba, Mohamed Ali, and Angela Davis to name a few, Fosso, as always, resembles his subjects better than your fave docudrama ever could. So if you’re broke like the rest of us and can’t make it to Paris, pick up a copy of Foam for hardcopy Sammys and Olu Oguibe’s article that confirms all the moma gossip.

Sammy’s Spectacular Closet

Posted in africa, art, photography by artmeafrica on December 7, 2008

You’ve seen his work and it sort of reminded you of Cindy Sherman meets Malik Sidibé so you already love him, but you can’t remember his name— he’s Samuel Fosso, the damn fine lookin’ gent who transformed traditional West African studio photography from family photos+fabrics to a gender bending, power transgressing tableaux. Shuttering himself into the handsomest Samuel he can be since the mid-1970s, first in black and white and later in color, the roster of role-portrait Samuels range from tribal salesman (see Le Chef) to liberated 70s disco cowstress to his grandfather’s dream. Born in Cameroon, raised in Nigeria, residing in Central African Republic, rumor has it Fosso began churnin’ out the auto-portraits at breakneck awesomeness to send home to Mom in Nigeria. But canards or grapevines aside, since entering the international stage as the star of Okwui Enwezor’s mega show In/sight: African Photographers 1940 to the Present, Fosso’s gender, power, and expectation bending photos have been everywhere. So if you don’t know him, get to it, cause he’s one sassy lens daddy.