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Claude Iverné: Bilad es Sudan at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation (May 11 – July 30, 2017)

Mnaima Adjak, Tribu Shenabla , nomade, Kordofan Nord. Août 2001 © Claude Iverné/Elnour

The Bilad es Sudan exhibition presenting the work of Claude Iverné, winner of the 2015 HCB Award, is on show at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson from May 11 to July 30, 2017. Egypt and the sultanate of Darfur. Here, he discovered a country steeped in contrasting influences, and the project to document this land of Sudan was born. Other trips followed. Wandering seemed the obvious choice for him, life rather than a journey, even to the point of learning the Arabic language. For the 2015 HCB Award, Iverné wanted to continue his project in South Sudan, the 193rd country of our planet, as he attempted to sketch out its historical details and map its contemporary contours.

This second phase is intended to mirror his project in North Sudan; while the North is depicted in black and white, Claude Iverné preferred colour for the South to echo its ambient hubbub. He records the precipitous transformation of a country still passionate about nomadism to a market economy, thus concluding his Sudanese epic. Given the current situation in Southern Sudan, adaptations had to be made, a change in course adopted; the travelling photographer had to take to the side roads. After his photographs in Africa, he set his compass from Trégastel to the Vallée de la Roya, via the Vincennes forest, to meet Sudanese refugees who, unintentionally, created another map for this project.

His black and white work fluctuates between an anthropological approach – the captions are extremely detailed, but always distant from the images – and a silent maze where everyone is asked to find their way.

The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson is showing one of the “drafts” of this immense work, one of the strata of this collection, in collaboration with the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, partner of the HCB Award. The exhibition includes more than one hundred prints, videos, documents and objects.