In collaboration with Magnin-A and Somerset House, 1:54 presents the first UK solo exhibition of Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé. Featuring a selection of 42 prints, the exhibition is set around three defined themes: “Au Fleuve Niger / Beside the Niger River;” “Thiep à Bamako;” and “Le Studio / The Studio.”
In the midst of the exuberant 1950s, Sidibé opened the “Studio Malick” in the center of Bamako in Bagadadji, on 30th Street, Corner 19. Known as the ‘eye of Bamako,’ Sidibé’s on-the-spot coverage provided striking pictures, full of truth and energy. From these photos an insouciant spontaneity emerges — amidst the playful parties are youthful individuals, full of laughter and life. As his work gained an international reputation, Sidibé’s images quickly came to stand as markers of an African modernity within the landscape of photography and contemporary art. Within his dynamic shots of Bamakois party scenes and sharply rendered studio portraits of Malian youth, Sidibé carved a space for alternative image making and narrative building.
Sidibé was awarded the ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement (2008), the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd Annual Venice Biennale (2007), the Hasselblad Foundation Award (2003), the PhotoEspana Baume & Mercier award as a portraitist (2009), and the same year, the World Press Photo in the “Art and Entertainment” group.
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