Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco CA, 94107
Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s work is rooted in portraiture, homoerotic visual culture, and the role of the studio. His highly crafted photographs, in which his subjects are often revealed in fragments, alert us to the artifice and performance that are an integral part of the photographic process; a constant negotiation between the artist, the sitter, the viewer, and the work itself.
Describing his subjects as a cast of friends, intimates, and muses, Sepuya sees these relationships as being mediated by the making and production of photographs. Using a combination of draped fabric, careful framing, and layering of images of his previous work, the viewer sees arms, thighs, torsos, and hands, but rarely the whole of the subject’s body. Through shooting into his studio mirror, Sepuya draws his varied source materials together in one plane. His deliberately provocative approach is designed to create a feeling of longing within the viewer, to see what is concealed. This form of active looking implicates the viewer within the creative process and highlights the role of desire as a productive and critical force.
Sepuya was born in 1982 and he lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 2016 and a BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. His first solo exhibition in Europe—Double Enclosure— is currently on view at Foam Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam through November.
Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program
Pier 24 Photography is pleased to present the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program in collaboration with California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Each year, the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program brings six photographers, writers, and curators to San Francisco to offer free and open lectures, and to work one-on-one with students at California College of the Arts.
Larry Sultan Photography Award
Fall 2018 Residency
Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
Click HERE for more information on the Larry Sultan Photography Award
Photographer Bieke Depoorter (b. 1986, Belgium) travels the world to find her subjects, creating extraordinarily intimate photographs that straddle portraiture, documentary, and fiction. The relationships she creates with those she photographs are the key to her work. As Depoorter describes it, “The relationships I establish with my subjects are the foundation of my artistic practice…. The resulting stories are always partially mine, partially theirs.”
In her early work, Depoorter traveled to far-flung locales in Russia, Egypt, and the United States, befriending locals to photograph. She asked her subjects if she could spend the night in their homes, building rapport and trust that eventually allowed her to capture the mundane, routine, ordinary moments of their lives. Depoorter’s first such project, Ou Menya, documented her encounters in the homes of locals in Russia. She completed a similar, long-term project in the United States titled I am about to call it a day.
In As It May Be, a project photographed in Egypt beginning just after the revolution in 2011, she tried to find trust in a time of turmoil and suspicion, in an environment where private life is often shielded. With this project, she also started to question her use of the photographic medium. Conscious of her status as an outsider, she returned to Egypt in 2017 with the first draft of the book, inviting others to write comments directly on the photographs. Contrasting views on country, religion, society, and photography arise among people who would otherwise never engage in a dialogue with one another. In Sete#15 (2015) and the short film Dvalemodus (2017), she began to conceive of her subjects as actors, projecting her own fictional narratives onto her subjects’ factual environments, thereby blurring the line between her world and theirs. In her most recent projects, such as the ongoing project Agata (2017), Depoorter works even more collaboratively with her subjects.
She has published four books, and her work has been shown in the United States and Europe, including Photomuseum The Hague, The Netherlands and an upcoming exhibition at FOMU Antwerp, Belgium. She joined the Magnum agency as a nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016. She is the recipient of the Magnum Expression award and the Prix levallois, among other accolades.
Depoorter lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.