Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pieter Hugo at Yossi Milo NYC

Pieter Hugo - from the series 1994

Yossi Milo Gallery is currently showing an exhibition of South African artist Pieter Hugo, images from his most recent body of work, 1994. The show opened January 26 and will run until March 11.

This is Pieter Hugo’s fifth exhibition at Yossi Milo gallery and features color photographs taken of children born in Rwanda and South Africa after the year 1994, the year of the Rwandan genocides and of the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Wearing often fanciful clothes and posed in nature, each child symbolizes the budding hope of a life unladen by active oppression, yet is rooted inextricably in the landscape into which they were born.

Describing the project, Hugo states: I happened to start the work in Rwanda but I’ve been thinking about the year 1994 in relation to both countries over a period of 10 or 20 years. I noticed how the kids, particularly in South Africa, don’t carry the same historical baggage as their parents. I find their engagement with the world to be very refreshing in that they are not burdened by the past, but at the same time you witness them growing up with these liberation narratives that are in some ways fabrications. It’s like you know something they don’t know about the potential failure or shortcomings of these narratives…Most of the images were taken in villages around Rwanda and South Africa. There’s a thin line between nature being seen as idyllic and as a place where terrible things happen – permeated by genocide, a constantly contested space. Seen as a metaphor, it’s as if the further you leave the city and its systems of control, the more primal things become. At times the children appear conservative, existing in an orderly world; at other times there’s something feral about them, as in Lord of the Flies, a place devoid of rules. This is most noticeable in the Rwanda images where clothes donated from Europe, with particular cultural significations, are transposed into a completely different context. 

You can read more on the Yossi Milo website HERE .
Yossi Milo Gallery - 245 Tenth Avenue (between 24th & 25th St.) New York, NY 10001

Pieter Hugo - from the series 1994

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