First Floor Gallery dares to be different

HARARE - First Floor Gallery Harare opened its 2015 programme last Thursday with a unique international photography exhibition dubbed ‘You only look once.’

The travelling exhibition, which was curated by Christopher Hunt, showcased the works of three distinct artists Baoyang Chen (China), Rehan Miskci (Turkey) and Maggie Shannon (United States of America).

Hunt hailed the three artists’ ability to flourish after settling new countries.

“Each artist tries to pick apart his or her idea of the past to create something new, while building connections with their new place. This questions their idea of a stable self in the context of flux,” he said.

Over the past couple of years First Floor Gallery Harare has been expanding the range of art mediums that it presents and introducing international artists to Harare audiences, from video, performance to conceptual practices.

“You Only Look Once” is an opportunity to present conceptual photography, a genre which is basically the art of creating pictures that illustrate ideas. The exhibition gave art lovers the platform to look at some innovative practices and to discuss issues in contemporary photography locally and internationally.

First Floor’s Rodney Badza told the Daily News that exhibition had put the spotlight on innovative photography.

“The exhibition was quiet a success. It brought in its unique view of art and photography and the talk was step towards an understanding of various concepts of art in this century.”

Zimbabwe is currently dominated by documentary photography mainly done by photojournalists who largely document the everyday livelihood of a society. In this country, this kind of photography is dominated by gloomy images. Unlike the former, conceptual photography comes with a whole new perspective. Instead of documenting the easy to see reality, it focuses on dreams and visions.

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