Polonia and...,  

Allan Sekula

.  November 10th, 2011 - January 14th, 2012


Polonia and...

Allan Sekula

11.10.2011 - 01.14.2012

Galerie Michel Rein is pleased to present the exhibition Polonia and… by Allan Sekula. The exhibition shows works from the series Polonia and other Fables which, over the past two years, has been exhibited at the Renaissance Society (Chicago), Zacheta Gallery (Warsaw), Ludwig Museum (Budapest), Media City Seoul and Belfast Exposed.
This is the fifth solo exhibition by Allan Sekula at the gallery over a 15 years collaboration (previous exhibitions in 2008, 2004, 2001 & 1998).

Since the early 1970s Allan Sekula's work has bridged the gap between conceptual art and documentary practices, focusing on economic and social themes ranging from family life, work and unemployment, to schooling and the military industrial complex. While calling many of the conventions of documentary into question, he continues to see photography as a social practice, answerable to the world and its problems.

In the series Polonia and Other Fables, the artist combines a very personal exploration of his Polish roots with a wider investigation into emigration and the Polish-American relations in the world today. In the footsteps of the artist's paternal grandparents, the series travels from Poland to the United States. Although occasionally steering towards the autobiographical - the series features the artist's parents, images of a Polish blacksmith refers to Sekula's grandfather's occupation before emigrating - these personal details lend themselves to the wider issues being investigated, from the Polish community in Chicago to the omnipresence of the United States in Poland.

A catalogue on the series was published by the Renaissance Society and the Zacheta Gallery and is available for purchase at the gallery (Polonia and Other Fables,  2009, texts by Katrzyna Ruchel-Stockmans, Hilde Van Gelder, Hamza Walker, Karolina Lewandowska, 23.3cm x 22.9cm, 120p.).

Allan Sekula's work has been shown in museums and biennials around the world, including the Sao Paulo Biennale (2010), La Virreina, Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona (2011, 2010), Taipei Biennial (2010), Mukha Anvers (2010), Documenta Kassel (2007, 2002), Centre Pompidou Paris (2006, 1996), Whitney Museum (2006, 2002, 1993, 1976), Generali Foundation, Vienna (2010, 2007, 2006, 2003), MACBA, Barcelona (2004, 2001), Winterthur Foto Museum (2001), Foto Institute Rotterdam (2001, 1997).

His film The Forgotten Space (co-directed with Noël Burch) premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, winning the Orizzonte Special Jury Prize.

French premiere : December 2, 8pm, Salle Jean Dame, rue Léopold Bellan, Paris 2e

Allan Sekula’s upcoming exhibitions include Oceans + Campfires : Allan Sekula and Bruno Serralongue at the San Francisco Art Institute, curated by Hou Hanru (30 November 2011 - 18 February 2012), Allan Sekula : Film Retrospective at Stills, Scotland's Centre for Photography (12 November - 18 December 2011) and Ship of Fools, also at Stills, Scotland's Centre for Photography (21 January 2012 - 18 March 2012) both curated by Kirsten Lloyd, The Dockers Museum, La Criée Centre d’Art Contemporain de Rennes , curated by Jürgen bock (6 April 2012 – 20 May 2012).

With special thanks to the Renaissance Society, Chicago, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw and the Ludwig Museum, Budapest.