Ibrahima Thiam - Senegal

Musée National du Mali

Clichés d’hier (2009 – 2015)

Ibrahima Thiam presents Clichés d’hier (2009- 2015), a photographic installation that takes us into the atmosphere of the popular photography studios of the 20th century. Thiam began his collection, which now consists of 350 photographs, as a child, recovering images from his family’s archive, an activity that would ultimately help shape the artist’s imagination.

The installation is comprised of identity photographs and portraits that are at times burlesque, all in black and white, taken by both anonymous photographers and pioneers of Senegalese photography such as Meïssa Gaye, Mama Casset and Salla Casset, Doudou Diop, and Julien Lopez. This photographic patchwork awakens the memory of these studios that are emblematic of the vitality and standing of photography on the African continent. Ibrahima Thiam’s ambition to give prominence to this personal collection is rooted in his de- sire to emphasize the historic, social, and spiritual role photography plays in modern societies.

With the installation’s reconstituted studio space, Clichés d’hier offers a true testimony to yesteryear’s way of life and tastes while allowing the present to be read through the prism of the past. This immersive body of work embraces a variety of perspectives on the dynamic nature of photography studios and urges the observer to ask questions about the reach of the imaginary, the diverse means of staging, and the artistic quality of those photography spaces in Saint-Louis and Dakar. The various photography genres developed within those spaces also accentuate their relationship to the multiple temporalities that are displayed.

Born in 1976 in Saint-Louis, Senegal –
Lives in Dakar

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali