Eric Gyamfi (1990, Ghana) is the winner of the 13th Foam Paul Huf Award, which is awarded annually by an international jury to talented photographers under the age of 35. Gyamfi uses a wide array of visual techniques to create visual narratives that hover somewhere in between autobiography and fiction. His work comprises collages, texts, audio and photographs developed according to various methods, including cyanotype and silk screen printing. His portraits and diaristic installations are highly personal, yet transcend the artist’s individual experience.
Foam invited Gyamfi to apply his scrapbook aesthetic to the walls of the museum. The resulting installations are opaque and multi-layered, blurring the boundaries between storytelling and documentary photography. The photographic image is presented as a powerful yet ambiguous means of telling a story, be it fact or fiction. The exhibition consists of two of Gyamfi’s most recent series. A Certain Bed is a semi-autobiographical visual narrative about the artist’s meanderings, following his departure from the home he knew. During this period of moving from place to place he created photo collages that form an introspective report of his nomadic experience, and that question what it means to have a home – or to lose it.
Fixing Shadows; Julius and I is a study into the photographic portrait. In an act of identification, the photographer blends his own image with a portrait of composer Julius Eastman, producing thousands of photographic composites in the form of cyanotypes and silk screen prints. The work plays on Eastman’s experimental compositions, in which each new score contains elements from all anterior scores. Likewise, Gyamfi produces an endless number of unique variations on the same two images, experimenting with the effects of climatological and other circumstantial conditions on the outcome of the print. The work is scored by Whatsapp voice messages the artist accumulated that provide as many readings of the works as there are individuals.
Eric Gyamfi was born in Ghana in 1990. He obtained a BA in Economics and Information Studies at the University of Ghana in 2014. He is currently pursuing an MFA at the Department of Painting and Sculpture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He was a fellow at the Photographers’ Master Class in Khartoum, Sudan (2016); Nairobi, Kenya (2017); and Johannesburg, South Africa (2018). He was an invited participant to the Nuku Studio Photography Workshops in 2016, and the World Press Photo West African Masterclass in 2017. He is a recipient of the 2016 Magnum Foundation Fund and a member of the Nuku studio in Ghana; a collective of visual storytellers dedicated reporting on issues around Africa and beyond. Gyamfi lives and works in Accra, Ghana.
Eric Gyamfi – Fixing Shadows, winner Foam Paul Huf Award
13 December 2019 – 11 March 2020
1017 DS Amsterdam