Yannis Davy Guibinga, Daybreak At Crystal Mountain, 2023
Yannis Davy Guibinga: Children of Distant Suns
Jan 18 – Mar 23, 2024
Doyle Wham
London, UK

Doyle Wham proudly presents the first UK solo exhibition of Yannis Davy Guibinga, a celebrated photographer from Libreville, Gabon, who is currently based in Montreal, Canada. Renowned for his storytelling prowess, Guibinga is passionately committed to rewriting outdated narratives about Africa, demonstrating the multiplicity of identities and stories that co-exist. His research-based practice is grounded in the exploration and re-imagination of mythologies from the continent, particularly from Western and Central Africa.

His new exhibition, Children of Distant Suns, is a collection of visual stories which extends this approach. The artist not only draws inspiration from folklore but weaves mythological strands to create an imaginary location, Shira Island, in which these disparate legends can thrive together, even alongside biblical tales. In this way, Guibinga demonstrates how myths have a global resonance and relevance that transcends their geographical and cultural origins – with the same themes and figures recurring under different names.

Guibinga honours the cultural richness of water spirits throughout Western Africa in two new series: OLOKUN and Daughter of the Lake, which reinterpret the Yoruba deity Olokun and the mermaid goddess Mami Wata respectively. Depicting these figures through a hyper-contemporary lens, the artist highlights their flexibility of identity and offers a vision for the modern preservation of these important cultural cornerstones.

The artist also debuts for the first time two series, Melting Daylight and Tangled Sins, that explore Christian themes and reimagine its iconography. Melting Daylight considers the significance of the sun and sunsets within systems of belief, for example as evidence of the natural beauty of God’s creation, while Tangled Sins mines the rich biblical symbolism of the serpent to explore humanity’s relationship with vices. The sinuous twists of the serpent mirror the intricate and inescapable dance between desire and restraint, seduction and resistance, that has inspired so many foundational myths across religions and cultures.

Throughout this exhibition, Guibinga calls for us to reflect on our relationship to myth and divinity. He asks us to consider the points of connection between our beliefs and our stories, and to remember their power: as sources of inspiration, aspiration, morality, and even envy. He poses the question: how can these foundational stories be understood today and to what extent is a new visual vocabulary required? With this in mind, the artist’s proposition of Shira Island is just the first step in a commitment to inclusive and unconstrained world-building.

  • An-My Lê: Between Two Rivers
    Nov 5, 2023 – Mar 16, 2024
    MoMA
    New York, USA

    For 30 years, the photographs of artist An-My Lê have engaged the complex fictions that inform how we justify, represent, and mythologize warfare and other forms of conflict. Lê does not take a straightforward photojournalistic approach to depicting combat. Rather, with poetic attention to politics and landscape, she meditates on the meaning of perpetual violence, war’s environmental impact, and the significance of diaspora. (more…)

  • Mikko Takkunen: Hong Kong
    Publication
    Kehrer Verlag
    International

    With his first photobook Hong Kong, The New York Times’ photo editor Mikko Takkunen captured one of the world’s greatest metropolises during a time of political uncertainty and the pandemic. As the city was still recovering from the aftermath of the anti-government protests of 2019, Takkunen began to concentrate on the purity of seeing and capturing the world anew. (more…)

  • Miriam Bäckström: Consumer
    Jan 18 – Mar 24, 2024
    Kohta
    Helsinki, Finland

    Miriam Bäckström: Consumer in the larger gallery presents new sculptural tapestry work by the Swedish artist, who started showing internationally as a conceptual photographer in the late 1990s and is also known for her films, texts and collaborations with actors. For more than ten years Bäckström has been working with machine-woven images, realising a number of large-scale commissions for public spaces. (more…)