Malick Sidibé

Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain

Malick Sidibé, a photographer from Mali, has worked as a portraitist since 1962, when he opened a studio in the city of Bamako. The works in this show dare from the ’60s and ’70s, offering an interesting commentary on the consumption of Western, mostly American, popular culture.

Throughout these decades, Sidibé documented the lifestyles of the young people of his city. The photographs show them engaged in leisure activities: dancing, listening to music, playing sports, vacationing along the banks of the Niger. The amicable nature of the relationship between the artist and his subjects (who commissioned the portraits) is evident in Sidibé’s photographs: his subjects often pose freely, without any need for the photographer to direct them. This reciprocal relationship is one of the primary reasons these photographs are of such interest.

They also hold our attention because they depict a society

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