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Angèle Etoundi Essamba : Renaissance


My first real confrontation with the works of Angèle Etoundi Essamba took place at the Salon Akaa 2021 which had concentrated, in its last edition, a large quantity of quality works. The Carole Kvasnevski Gallery presented a small series – very noticed – of the latest works of this African designer trained in Northern Europe. Angèle is part of this small core of young African women who are somewhat pushed to the forefront because they are women (it’s currently the fashion), because they are African (it’s very trendy). We must stop with these classifications and other prejudices of an era that the versatility of the beautiful world will forget everything, at the first opportunity. These talented photographers are creators like the others with the same questions, the same challenges and the same rigour. They are driven by hard work and their true humility happily keeps them away from all these one-day censors on the lookout for an immediate monetary return.

To approach the work of Angèle Etoundi Essamba is to enter a known world that is present in each of our memories, and at the same time, to find oneself in unusual parts of our personal spaces. The image is treated with uncompromising substantive rigor, even if at the level of the form some slight technical slippages still await some automatisms. The structure of the photographs, the targeted lighting and the fusion instinct with the subjects draw works of dialogue for the visitors of tomorrow and well beyond. The subtlety, in the coherence of the images, declines the messages up to the third degree. The images are very beautiful and the aesthetics take you on board smoothly. It is too late, the traps of the image have closed. The past is back, the present calls out and the future looks uninhibited. Each photograph is perfectly balanced and invite us to come back and get involved, a little more with each passage, the initiation is never over. Do not talk about this photographer of great talent, embark on her works which are more than a thousand awards and a hundred openings. The dream of any collector or lover will be to escape in one of Angèle’s photographs, which after the Blachère Foundation and All Know As Africa, go through the Venice Biennale and settle in the Dutch Museum of Photography in Rotterdam.

Thierry Maindrault



Nederlands Fotomuseum
Statendam 1
3072 MD Rotterdam

February 2022,14 until April 2022,20
Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday : 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Biennale de Venise 2022

Cameroon’s First-Ever Pavilion

Liceo Artistico Statale Michelangelo Guggenheim
Palazzo Ca’ Bernardo
Calle Bernardo
Sestiere Dorsoduro
Civico 3198
Venezia (VE) – Italia


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