Samuel Fosso (Cameroon)
The Sunken Gardens, St James Street
1 - 30 June / Outdoor display
Samuel Fosso, one of Africa’s most eminent photographers, will exhibit his African Spirits and Tati series of self-portraits. African Spirits presents the artist inhabiting various icons of black identity, from cultural leaders to the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, while the Tati series shows Fosso dressed up as fictionalised characters. Both reflect his ongoing experimentation with the techniques of portraiture and the selfempowerment and sense of beauty which their theatricality projects.
Samuel Fosso was born in Cameroon, then lived in Nigeria as a child but was forced to leave at the end of the Biafran war in 1972. He moved to Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where he found work as an assistant photographer. Six months later, aged 13, he opened his own photographic portrait studio. Fosso started taking self-portraits to send to his mother in Nigeria, whom he had left behind as a refugee. Although his initial aim was to show he was alive and well, his interest in exploring the genre grew steadily, and he experimented with new techniques and poses. Fosso’s work has been published around the world, and shown in major global venues such as the Photographers Gallery, London and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.