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Piscine #1, Université Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Riviera, Cocody, Abidjan

Piscine #1, Université Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Riviera, Cocody, Abidjan

François-Xavier Gbré

Born in Lille to a French Ivorian family, photographer François-Xavier Gbré trained in commercial photography in Italy and France before relocating in 2010 to Bamako, Mali and later Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. He often turns his camera to modernist construction these areas of Africa. An ongoing project, entitled Tracks (2009-16), documents dilapidated urban landscapes of France and the decaying vestiges of former colonial capitals in West Africa, addressing the symbolism of once-valorized objects. “In my work,” the artist has stated, “I look for bridges between Europe and Africa. I try to document the complex relationship between North and South. Even if these buildings were constructed for different reasons, they often share the same fate (for different reasons, too).” Piscine #1, Université Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Riviera, Cocody, Abidjan is one of a number of images of modernist swimming pools shot by the photographer. This one, in Côte d'Ivoire, is from the largest university in the country. The university, which opened in 1964, was an outgrowth of two French-founded institutions from 1958. Of the work, the artist has stated, “the pool is filled, but it appears very quiet, despite the fact that it’s located on the university campus. Why there is such a silence? What are people waiting for.”
François-Xavier Gbré
(French, active in Cote d'Ivoire, b. 1978)
Piscine #1, Université Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Riviera, Cocody, Abidjan
Pigment print
53 1/2 x 40 1/8 in. support
Sara Guyer and Scott Straus Contemporary African Art Initiative made possible by the Straus Family Foundation
Accession No.
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)


2020, sold by Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d''Ivoire) to the Chazen Museum of Art

  • Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection: Chazen Museum of Art, 9/5/2023–12/23/2023

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