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Allan Sekula I Residency from July to December 1998

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Allan Sekula was born in 1951. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Photographer, critic, and essayist, Sekula has for many years dealt with the issues arising from the mechanism of the global capitalist system and its sometimes brutal effects on traditional human activities and communities.
Having started his career in the 1970’s with sculpture and performance, he also works in documentary photography, a medium he would favor throughout his career.

Sekula makes diptychs and triptychs: sober yet harmonious portraits or landscapes that function beyond their realism by means of metaphor or allusions. In Fish Story (1995 – 1996), he deals with workers’ conditions. In Dead Letter Office (1997), he addresses the lives of the populations living on the border between the United States and Mexico. His exhibitions are generally conceived as books: his photos are accompanied by essays and the artist’s reflections.

His residency at the Atelier Calder was an occasion to focus his photography work on locales marked both by tradition and by recent economic development; notably industrial sites like the Biémont factory in Tours where Alexander Calder made a number of his stabiles. Sekula was also interested in the traditional habitations cut into the rock faces that are still in use in the Loire Valley, parallel to the changes and transformations of contemporary life.

Allan Sekula regularly exhibits his work: at the Documenta de Kassel Musée de Beaux-Arts of Calais in 1996, at the CCC in Tours in 1999, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 1986, and at Face à l’Histoire at the Centre Pompidou in 1996. He is represented in France by the Galerie Michel Rein.

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