The images in Friday Night seem formally quite different from your other work, such as Re: Collections, or even the series Kiosks and Market Day from Burkina Faso. Would you agree?
You are quite right that the images in Friday Night are different from my other work. I am by nature very formal in my approach to composition. I favor simplicity and symmetry in an attempt to foreground my subjects, whether they are people or objects, and emphasize their similarities and differences. This is clear in the Re: Collections project and in the Kiosks portfolio. Both are classic typologies in the tradition of August Sander and the Bechers. I think my African portraits fall into this category as well.
But I also like to experiment with the element of chance and challenge myself to move outside my comfort zone. That is what is behind Friday Night. I am literally shooting in the dark. I can see my primary subjects dimly, but the background of each image is unseen until my flash fires. Everyone is in constant motion, including myself, so every image is a surprise. The juxtaposition of contorted bodies, hands and feet, shadows and expressions is not something one can predict.
Another thing that distinguishes Friday Night from my other work is that I am an active participant in the process rather than an objective observer. I am caught up in the music, moving and sweating alongside the other dancers, reacting and interacting. This was not possible the first two or three times I visited Bereba. I had to get to know the villagers and earn their trust. I now feel very much at home in the village and an insider at the dance. Everyone expects me to make photographs and they are delighted with the results. I should add that I take back and distribute all the images that I make on each subsequent trip. I have more than 500 prints that I'll be handing out when I visit Bereba in December.
Recently in Reading West Africa program Category
You Look Familiar Presented by the SFAC Gallery Art in City Hall Program and PhotoAlliance
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 6, 5:30-7:30 pm
Exhibition Dates: October 6, 2011 - January 6, 2012
Location: San Francisco City Hall, ground floor
The SFAC Gallery Art in City Hall Program, in partnership with PhotoAlliance invited submissions of photographic works from Bay Area artists that explore what it means to be part of a group, culture or association. The work included in the show depicts groups of people who share activities, identities, locations or some form of common ground. How do we look familiar to the people who share our passions and interests? From fashionistas to sports fans, and from mountain climbers to rockabilly swing dancers, how do we identify people who look familiar to each other? If familiar faces are not present in the photographs, what kind of residues do groups leave or what objects could be attached to a place as a signifier of a shared activity or event? What kind of places or objects define a group?
(Photo: David Pace, Children in Bereba village hold RWA books, 2010)
We're very excited about the grant and are looking forward to publishing more books for our libraries!
L'homme s'est fait un nom dans la photographie burkinabè. Aujourd'hui, Warren Saré veut exporter la photographie burkinabè, à travers la création de son Centre de photographie de Ouagadougou (CPD), et surtout une caravane de l'image jusqu'à Bamako.
Sidwaya (S) : Comment se porte la photographie burkinabè ? Warren Saré (W.S) : La photographie burkinabè ne se porte pas bien. Parce qu'elle est absente des instances de la photographie mondiale. En dépit des efforts, deux photographes, Seydou Dicko et Nestor Da essaient d'être sur la scène internationale. La photographie burkinabè peut s'imposer sur la scène internationale, si nous avons des acteurs convaincus qu'ils peuvent à travers leurs appareils, contribuer au développement de leur pays.
In recognition of a mutual interest in documentary and fine art photography, Daylight Magazine and the Center for Documentary Studies started an international competition in spring 2010, the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards, to honor and promote talented and committed photographers, both emerging and established.
The full panel of jurors will choose one First Prize Winner. Each Guest Juror will also select one photographer to receive a Juror's Pick Prize and write a short statement about why he or she choose the work.
The First Prize Winner will be featured in print in Daylight Magazine and CDS's newsmagazine Document, as well as in Daylight and CDS online galleries and be part of a group exhibition at the Center for Documentary Studies.
Image: From Friday Night. Photograph by David Pace, 2011
We recently received the photobooks created by last year's RWA group and I've truly been enjoying going through them all. Some have very engaging story lines and absolutely beautiful photographs. What I love most is that several of the books are not only fun but quite educational. I can easily see nurses at health clinics using Coughlin's "L'hygiene pour tout le monde!" and Lobodzinski's "Ou trouver de l'eau" to educate children on proper hand-washing techniques and clean water sources. Or primary school teachers using Read's "Les Adjectifs," Brown's "Le livre des formes et des couleurs" and Melvin's "Les arbres du village" to accompany class lessons.
Albertson's "Qui veut chanter? Le Vagabond et A La Forge" and Goodloe's "Devinettes!" are absolutely perfect for librarians to use during song and riddle activities at the libraries.
Overall, a great batch of books that we'll soon be sending down to village!
The books are available for purchase here!