- Autoportrait, "70's Life Styles" series, 1975-78, © Samuel Fosso, courtesy Jean Marc Patras, Paris
- Self-portrait (reflected image in mirror, checqued jacket) by Claude Cahun, 1928. Jersey Heritage Collections © Jersey Heritage
- Agata. Paris, November 2, 2017, © Bieke Depoorter/ Magnum Photos
- Michael. USA, Portland, Oregon, May 2015, © Bieke Depoorter/ Magnum Photos
The show Claude Samuel Zanele contains work by Claude Cahun, Samuel Fosso and Zanele Muholi, three photographers who focus the lens on itself as a window on the world. They each adress issues about politics, race, gender and identity in a personal way.
Throughout her life, Claude Cahun (FR, 1894-1954) took photographs of herself that challenged preconceptions about gender and identity. Born Lucy Schwob into a Jewish family of publishers, she is known as a transgender avant-la-lettre, an outspoken opponent of Nazism and an active member of the surrealist art scene.
Samuel Fosso (NG/CM, 1962) started his own photography studio at the age of thirteen. He used remnants of film rolls to take his first self-portraits. Fosso communicates a clear political message by continually adopting new identities. Through his work, postcolonial freedom fighters finally have a place in the museum.
For the series Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail The Dark Lioness, visual activist Zanele Muholi (SA, 1972) uses her own body as a canvas to address personal and cultural politics of race. Each self-portrait, taken in (South) Africa, America, Europe and elsewhere, asks critical questions about social (in)justice, human rights, and contested representations of the Black body.
In her first solo exhibition for FOMU, Bieke Depoorter (BE, °1986) questions her position as an image-maker and outsider in five separate series, some of which are still ongoing.
With the multimedia installation Sète#15 (2015) and the short film Dvalemodus (2017), Depoorter began to conceive her subjects as actors, projecting her own narratives onto factual environments.Two projects in progress will also be shown at FOMU. Agata (2017-…) is a project in collaboration with a young woman whom Depoorter met in Paris. Both the photographer and the subject become contributors in the narrative. With Michael (2015-…), Depoorter almost finds herself in the role of detective in search of the life story of a man from Portland, Oregon. Following a brief but intense encounter, Depoorter received three suitcases full of collages and scraps of writing, after which the man disappeared without a trace.
Please find more information at Fotomuseum Antwerp