Huis Marseille and The Walther Collection (New York/Neu-Ulm) have joined forces to present a unique collection of African photography and video art, Recent Histories, featuring Michael Tsegaye's 'Future Memories' Series. African photography is at the heart of the collection policies of both institutes, and for this exhibition Huis Marseille has been able to make a broad selection from The Walther Collection’s exhibition of the same name that was shown in 2017 in Neu-Ulm. In Amsterdam, Recent Histories combines the recent work of young African photographers with the work of several generations of African photographers in the Huis Marseille collection and the Han Nefkens H+F Collection – from David Goldblatt (1930–2018), the ‘grand old man’ of South African photography, to Lebohang Kganye (1990), who finished her training in Johannesburg as recently as 2011. The exhibition brings together these photographers’ different perspectives on their countries and their continent. The themes that link their work are concerned with identity, migration, origins, and the legacy of colonialism, in relation to their own personal experiences.
The title of the exhibition refers to the narratives and histories that meet in the work of these photographers and artists, now overlapping and then going in different directions. The aim of the exhibition is to allow the attributes that make their work ‘African’ to speak directly through the way each photographer relates individually to that idea, rather than through some prefigured academic concept. Nevertheless, a number of shared motifs run through all their oeuvres.
The original exhibition in Neu-Ulm was accompanied by an extensive photo book that is also available in the Huis Marseille bookshop: Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art, Daniela Baumann, Joshua Chuang, Oluremi C. Onabanjo (eds.), New York/Neu-Ulm/Göttingen (The Walther Collection/Steidl), 2017.
Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (Kenya), David Goldblatt (South Africa), Em’kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon), Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Délio Jasse (Angola), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), Zanele Muholi (South Africa), Mame-Diarra Niang (France/Ivory Coast/Senegal), Dawit L. Petros (Eritrea/Canada/USA), Thabiso Sekgala (South Africa), Guy Tillim (South Africa), Mikhael Subotzky (South Africa), Michael Tsegaye (Ethiopia).