Gulu Real Art Studio

SOLO SHOW BY MARTINA BACIGALUPO

While visiting Gulu Art Studio, one of the oldest photography studios in Gulu, Uganda, Martina Bacigalupo happened to discover a trash bin filled with portraits presenting uncanny square-shaped holes in lieu of faces. Discarded by the studio owner, who used the prints to cut out ID photos for his clients, and then recontextualized by Bacigalupo, these headless portraits of children, soldiers, farmers, etc. play with the tradition of African vernacular studio imagery to present a demographic overview of contemporary Uganda. By shifting the focus from what is normally considered the key element of a portrait - the face - to the poses, clothing and objects, the photographs invite you to piece together the stories hidden in these identity markers and reimagine the surreal biographies of these survivors of sudden and violent change.

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