An exhibition with photographers from Southern Africa. Looking at the past, the photographs do not derive from a “constellation of ethnic groups or tribes”, to mention the thesis proposed by Elikia M’Bokolo, and this is an essential premise in the curatorship of this exhibition entitled “Present Tense”. We are quite far removed from the photographs taken of black people who “officially […] were frequently depicted in the same visual language as the flora and fauna”, to quote Santu Mofokeng in “The Black Album Photo”. We are interested in showing and comparing the work of photographers who live or travel through a series of cities situated mainly in the Southern Africa region without there being anything to indicate any visual or cultural identity for the region. Regardless of the genres – portrait, landscape, document, photojournalism – these are photographs about the “Present Tense” that we want to show, and this concept of the “Present Tense” also includes the tension between languages, the choice of colour or black and white and the detail diverging from the panoramic view. With photographs by the photographers Délio Jasse, Dillon Marsh, Filipe Branquinho, Guy Tillim, Jo Ractliffe, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Mack Magagane, Malala Andrialavidrazana, Mauro Pinto, Paul Samuels, Pieter Hugo, Sabelo Mlangeni, Sammy Baloji and Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.
António Pinto Ribeiro (curator)
“Present Tense” is a co-production of the Next Future Programme and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Delegation in France.