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Museum Folkwang announces Voyage Retour

Museum Folkwang presents Voyage Retour on 17 November–1 December 2013, an exhibition project presented by the Photography Department of the Museum Folkwang, Essen, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, Lagos, Nigeria

Voyage Retour is the title of a new exhibition, the first to be staged by the Museum Folkwang in a country lying south of the Sahara. For this project, the Nigerian city of Lagos will host a show presenting pictures by the internationally renowned Nigerian photographer J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, alongside works by Rolf Gillhausen, Germaine Krull, Robert Lebeck, Malick Sidibé and Wolfgang Weber drawn from the Museum Folkwang’s collection. The exhibition tour is an integral part of the curatorial concept, which focuses on the perspectival shifts and exchanges that took place between Africa and Europe, as manifested in the medium of photography, from the 1920s up until the period of decolonisation and the transition to independence. Voyage Retour brings together images by European and African photographers that bear the marks of the various sociopolitical conditions that channelled their expression.

The exhibition’s venue, the Federal Government Press Building constructed in 1896 under the auspices of British colonial rule, can be seen as both a presentation space and one of the conceptual starting points of the project. Numerous relics from the past still evoke the building’s historical usage—it was used to house the state photographic archive into the mid-1990s and until ten years ago the official government gazettes were printed here—and these reminders are systematically incorporated into the exhibition’s concept and design. Voyage Retour picks up on this history and seeks to create a productive crossover space, intended as a platform for new discussions. The exhibition is designed with a particular eye to the specific conditions that pertain in the African countries south of the Sahara. It is against this background that a final conference titled Crossing Archives will be held with an international panel discussing overarching questions relating to the perspective, function and significance of photographic archives for society and artistic practice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in English and French produced by Steidl/Göttingen.

The exhibition is sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Museum Folkwang
Federal Government Press
Broad Street
Lagos, Lagos Island
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–4pm,
Saturday–Sunday noon–6pm