From January 25th to March 16th 2018

Exposition Collective

Terre des Îles

The Faroe Islands, 1993. © Joakim Eskildsen, courtesy Polka Galerie. 

Carmelo Bongiorno • Bernard Cantié • William Klein • Daido Moriyama • Kosuke Okahara 

Sebastião Salgado   •   Joakim Eskildsen   •   Claude Nori   •   Jacob Aue Sobol

Polka Gallery presents "Terre des îles", a group exhibition illustrating the themes of insular life. From Jacob Aue Sobol to Kosuke Okahara, passing by Claude Nori, Bernard Cantié, Carmelo Bongiorno, Joakim Eskildsen, Daido Moriyama, William Klein and Sebastião Salgado, these invited photographers’ works interact in a collective investigation of a multitude of unique island worlds, of their roots and their poetic identities. 

From the tiniest islets to entire island continents, through secret reefs and glistening frozen coves, journey from the Earth’s largest island – Greenland – to the beautiful Corsica, stopping by the Cyclades, Sicily, Iceland, Stromboli, Okinawa, the Faroe Islands, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Hokkaido and the Galapagos. Witness Polka’s walls transform into an archipelago. 

The exhibition’s first section is dedicated to the early work of Danish photographer Jacob Aue Sobol, showcasing his breakout series "Sabine" for the first time at Polka. This intimate photographic voyage takes us to the aberrant and isolated Inuit village of Tiniteqilaaq on the east coast of Greenland, where the artist fell in love. The show’s second part opens with an iconic image of "Three Graces" by William Klein. They look out over Santorini: our first pit stop on this cruise travelling into the heart of the Mediterranean. Sicily comes into view on the horizon in a series of vintage prints beside Klein’s portraits. These are works by Carmelo Bongiorno, photographer and professor at the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts. He presents a series of precursory works on his own native Sicily – “l’Isola Intima”. Travelling further north among the windmills, our vessel reaches Stromboli: the unique island of volcanic rock and lava that inspired Claude Nori. Following in Bergman’s and Rossellini’s footsteps, on the trail of Gino, his fantastical silhouettes of women appear, dissolving into the landscape. 

Crossing the Tyrrhenian Sea brings our Italian chapter to a close. Now entering Corsican waters, we delve into the secrets of France’s Isle of Beauty through the lens of its native Bernard Cantié, as he showcases a new selection of prints from his poetic mappings of the island. 

Travelling further, new islands and photographers come into view, their subjects intertwining. We see Madagascar, the Galapagos and Papua New Guinea through Sebastião Salgado’s eyes. The frozen shores of the Faroe Islands, Lofoten and Iceland emerge in an exquisite selection of Joakim Eskildsen’s vintage prints from his series “Nordic Signs”. Japan concludes our island voyage with a nod to Hokkaido from Daido Moriyama and a unique installation of contact prints in homage to Okinawa by Kosuke Okahara. 


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