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Städelschule "Willem de Rooij: Pierre Verger in Suriname" (Lecture Series Winter Semester 2020/21)
Photographer, ethnologist and Babalawo Pierre Fátúmbí Verger (Paris, 1902 – Salvador de Bahia, 1996) studied the relationships between cultures of the African diaspora and those of West Africa. In 1948, during an eight-day trip through Suriname, Verger made 257 photographs – that today are kept in the Pierre Verger Foundation in Salvador da Bahia. How do these photographs relate to the greater archive of images made in Suriname on the one hand, and to Pierre Verger’s life’s work on the other? And what does it mean for these images to be shown, and seen in the context of contemporary art?

On November 6, 2020 the exhibition Pierre Verger in Suriname by Willem de Rooij will open at Portikus in Frankfurt, featuring a new installation in which De Rooij connects the spectator and Verger’s images by means of a viewing device. A catalogue designed by Ronnie Fueglister with essays by Karin Amatmoekrim, Ayrson Heraclito, Philippe Pirotte, Richard Price and Gloria Wekker makes the complete suite of images accessible to a larger public for the first time.

A conversation will be held around the history of images made in and of Suriname and the place of Verger’s images within this collective archive, featuring Angela Lühning (director of the Pierre Verger Foundation), Carl Haarnack (founder of the archive and library Buku Surinamica, Amsterdam) and Willem de Rooij. Moderated by Oliver Hardt (filmmaker, Frankfurt/Main).
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