Artist: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Venue: Peter Kilchmann, Zürich

Date: September 12 – October 17, 2020

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Artist: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Artist: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Artist: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Full gallery of images, press launch and hyperlink obtainable after the leap.


Images courtesy of the artist and Peter Kilchmann, Zürich

Press Release:

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present a solo exhibition with American artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya in collaboration with Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. The exhibition is comprised of works made between 2017 and 2018 from quite a lot of ongoing initiatives. From early photos set in his mattress room to long-term our our bodies of labor grounded throughout the photographer’s studio, Sepuya’s observe is oriented spherical photographic portraiture’s relationships and dynamics, its settings and provides. The digicam and artist often usually are not at all instances seen nevertheless at all instances implied, referring once more to the self-reflexivity inherent in Sepuya’s observe and the positions and gestures of attempting, being seen, and creating scenes that disregard the viewer and emphasize the making, and makers, of a picture.

The figures alongside Sepuya are associates, fellow photographers, and others from an intimate circle; these with whom an in depth connection varieties a significant foundation and shared motivation. Out of this personal group of relationships, the coping with of the digicam in works like Darkroom Mirror (_1000470) highlights the poetic interplay between Sepuya and a fellow artist. Entangling the technical elements and necessary conditions of portraiture, the Darkroom Mirror works negotiate shifting roles of artist and subject and play on the overlapping language of the darkish room and darkroom, linking photographic web sites and web sites of queer socialization and sexuality.

In A Ground (0X5A7595) and Drop Scene, a Sitting for Clifford (0X5A1081), Sepuya pulls once more (or cuts by way of) the curtain, revealing the event of the image all through the studio home, focussing our consideration on the photographic devices and collapsing the area between the image and the making- of-the-image. The photographic gear, positioned between the planes of the mirror and the curtain or wall mirrored throughout the mirror, captures every mirrored home and precise, present home; the ground of the mirror, made evident by the bodily traces thrown into discount by blackness. The black curtain gives a material extension of the physique and an abstraction of blackness – as a state of affairs and place – that makes seen latent traces in some other case obliterated by whiteness. A traditional element of the portrait studio, the black curtain is often solely a backdrop, a marginal subject; Sepuya’s works acknowledge the fundamental place of blackness as supplies, or blackness and darkness as a location from which and into which to look.

The supplies elements making up Mirror Study (0X5A7387) – the artist’s fingers, fragments of verify prints collaged to the mirror’s ground, the partially obscured camera-tripod decide – title into question ground, depth and the connection between the digicam lens and the mirror, having fun with with flatness as a technique of compressing and lengthening the spatial and temporal intervals all through the studio. In this work as in various others, printed images on the flooring, partitions, and mirrors highlight not solely how images are made, however moreover how they’re seen and circulated outside the studio. Whether in further classical portraits akin to A Portrait (0X5A1469) or the triptych Exposure (_2160212, _2160194, _2160196) (see invitation card, component), Sepuya’s images focus inward on the motifs and conditions specific to his observe whereas moreover gesturing outward to constructions and mechanics of portraiture, photos, and queer sociality. Conversing about and spherical footage, Sepuya approaches photos as inseparable from the productive want that constructions queerness.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles. His work is throughout the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Getty Museum and MOCA Los Angeles, amongst others. His work has been reviewed throughout the New Yorker, the New York Times, Art in America, and he was featured on the quilt of Artforum’s March 2019 drawback. Sepuya has been in newest group exhibitions at the Barbican, London (2020); Whitney Museum, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles (all 2019); Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (every 2018); New Museum, New York (2017); and many additional. A survey of labor from 2008 – 2018 was launched at CAM St. Louis and University of Houston Blaffer Art Museum, accompanied by a monograph revealed by CAM St. Louis and Aperture Foundation. He is Acting Associate Professor in Media Arts at the University of California San Diego.

The exhibition will open concurrently with Zurich Art Weekend.

Link: Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Peter Kilchmann

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