Pierre Verger (1902-1996) was a French photographer, ethnologist, anthropologist and researcher who lived most of his life in the city of Salvador, Brazil. During his long career, he produced a photographic work of great importance, based on everyday life and on the popular cultures he came across on his travels around the world. In addition, he produced a landmark written work on the Afro-Brazilian culture and religiosity derived from the African diaspora.
Curated by Alex Baradel, responsible for the photographic collection of the Pierre Verger Foundation, the retrospective Pierre Verger: The One That I Am Not presents 167 photographs taken by the photographer during his constant travels between the 1930s and 1950s, carefully selected and organized in order to build a panorama of Verger’s photography from the constant themes in his work: the expressiveness of the body and religiosity in its most diverse manifestations.
Pierre Verger’s photography is not documentary, even less contemporary. It is not guided by a photojournalistic mission, or by a formalist aesthetic. It is hardly classifiable because it is the purest expression of a self-taught artist. It’s a testimony. Not just about the cultures of the world, but a visual testimony of the encounter between one man and another – the one he was not – but whose life and wisdom he wanted to know and share.
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