10 novembre - 31 décembre 2011
Polka Galerie


Françoise Huguier, Philippe Guionie, Titouan Lamazou, Sebastiao Salgado, Marc Riboud

While Paris Photo honors the work of African artists, Polka gallery presents the exhibition Afriques, featuring works by Françoise Huguier, Philippe Guionie, Titouan Lamazou, Marc Riboud, Sebastião Salgado and Jürgen Schadeberg.


Françoise Huguier

Sur les traces de l'Afrique fantôme, 1988-1990

Secrètes, 1995

Durban, 1997

The Polka gallery exclusively presents 17 vintage prints from Françoise Huguier, founder of the first African photography biennale, held in Bamako in 1994. These photographs reveal her love for the African continent and tell the story of her long journey. Beginning in 1988, Françoise Huguier traveled across Africa in search of the "magic taste of life" that had inspired the author Michel Leiris. Her first work in the series, Sur les pas de l'Afrique fantôme published by Maeght, is a travel diary that follows in the footsteps of Leiris during his 1931 to 1933 journey from Dakar to Djibouti. This book, which was co-authored with Michel Cressole, received the prix Medicis.

In continuity with this initial project, Françoise Huguier then turned her gaze towards the women of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Durban in South Africa. She reached out to them, entered their homes, spoke with them, but mostly listened to their stories. With a hushed tone and under the light of Africa’s singular glow, her portraits are intimate, respectful, yet effortless. These exceptional photographs were published by Actes Sud under the title Secrètes.

As a photographer working on behalf of photography, Françoise Huguier discovered Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé in 1991, and helped reveal their work to the rest of the world.


Philippe Guionie

Africa America

From early 2008 to the end of 2010, Philippe Guionie toured Latin America in search of an unrecognized population: black people of the Andean regions. The portraits of the men and women he met during his journey, narrated by the words of Christian Caujolle, speak of the roots of these people who were snatched from their African homeland and transplanted in Latin America by the slave trade as early as the 16th century. Guionie visited Bolivia, Columbia, Chili, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador, and in each of these countries he was able to find traces of their culture. He photographed individuals of all ages and backgrounds; individuals who either become overly expressive or draw a blank when faced with a camera. According to Christian Caujolle, "the photographer records his encounter and discoveries of a new universe and culture without ceremony […] and with the same humanity, within square format portraits that allow the light to tenderly sketch their features, their shape, their skin."


Titouan Lamazou

Ténèbres au Paradis

The photographer Titouan Lamazou has often sojourned in the Great Lake region of Africa, a place where the status of women condition is dreadful. In 2001, with the support of CARE, he returned to this disastrous area to give its women a voice. Polka gallery is the first to present prints from his series Ténèbres au Paradis. Each of his prints is composed of hundreds of images, stitched together to depict sceneries on a large scale. Here, Titouan Lamazou works as a painter would. These monumental compositions honor the strength of the local women and seek to restore some of their dignity.


Sebastião Salgado


Sebastião Salgado has traveled around Africa for more than thirty years, from Mozambique to the sub Saharan region. Many of the photographs he has taken along the way have become icons. The book Africa, published by Taschen, has become a reference. His prints unveil several facets of Africa and show the consequences of wars, diseases and poverty for local populations.


Marc Riboud

Dockers d'Accra

Marc Riboud first traveled to Ghana in 1960, and Polka gallery is now showing the work he produced while in the country for the first time. The harbor in Accra is surrounded by deadly tides, currents and swells which prevent large boats from reaching the shore. Marc Riboud's work shows the efforts of the men who fetch the merchandise from the vessels anchored in the open sea using nothing more than frail dugouts. His images capture the strength, the vigor and the harmony of these men.


Jürgen Schadeberg


It is in the midst of fifties era Apartheid in South Africa that Jürgen Schadeberg, then artistic director of "Drum" magazine where he lead a multiracial team, tirelessly roamed the street of Johannesburg. He captured everything he saw through his lens, from arrests to everyday life. His only goal: to bear witness to the condition of South Africans. He also shot portraits of the young lawyer who would one day become the first Black president of South Africa. He met with Nelson Mandela again, thirty years later upon his release from Robben Island jail. With four of his exquisite prints, Polka gallery outlines the uncommon path of an extraordinary man.