We are happy to announce that the monumental work "SIXSIXSIX" by Samuel Fosso (2016) enters the collections of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris.
Composed of six hundred and sixty-six 24x19 cm Polaroid self-portraits, "SIXSIXSIX" integrates the French public collections already rich in photographs of the artist - series "Tati" (Centre Pompidou), "Emperor of Africa" (CNAP).
This acquisition was carried out in the logic of special attention from the musée du quai Branly to the production of Samuel Fosso: in 2008 were acquired the twelve prints forming the series "Le rêve de mon grand-père", and in 2010 the fourteen photographs of the "African Spirits" series were also able to enter the collections.
The monumental work "SIXSIXSIX" was shown in its entirety for the first time at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in the exhibition Who is gazing? (A toi appartient le regard…) between July and October 2020.
Cited during the exhibition for its extraordinary impact on every visitor, "SIXSIXSIX" was hailed as a major work and an accomplishment in the career of the artist who, since the end of the seventies, has profoundly renewed the form of the photographic self-portrait. Samuel Fosso has built, since his first self-portraits, a work where the transformation of his own appearance is essential. His practice has allowed him to embody archetypes, historical figures, but also to reinterpret difficult episodes in his own life. We can observe throughout his work an oscillation between images of metamorphosis and others that are rather subtle modifications.
Produced in 2015-2016, "SIXSIXSIX" is one of the few works where the artist appears without make-up or accessories. Centered on the face of the artist, it places the visitor in an active face to face that does not deliver a key of immediate meaning. In this form of portrait where photography predominates, who looks at whom?
Photo: © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac / Vincent Mercier