Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin confirm that true photography, in essence, is that which restores an autonomous existence or a specific meaning to what might seems to us distant or devoid of interest. True photography manages to deal with modesty without lapsing into self-censorship. This delicate balance is what one perceives in this work. I can imagine the wonderings of the photographers, their quest for the perfect image, their conversations with the people to gain their trust. I can also imagine that all along the duration of this project, they became full time “Congolese”, living amongst the people, sharing with them their joys and sorrows, crossing swollen rivers, mingling with crowds of excited children, travelling along the banks of the tributaries, or observing the endurance of the river workers. The result does not disappoint : emotion is present, it is often poignant when confronted by the images of certain empty and sinister buildings, or of decrepit vehicles abandoned on the side of the road, or again of a tree trunk sawed through by a determined man...
Alain Mabanckou, writer
With support from Cherry Tree Arts Initiatives.
Photographs: Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin, Cherry Tree Arts Initiatives, 2014.
Executive Production : Jonathan Roquemore for CTAI and the artists.
Technical direction : Marco Zanella.
Publication: Congo. Photographs by Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin, Cherry Tree Arts Initiatives/Aperture, 2015.
Documents : Studio Linda, Brazzaville.
The artists wish to thank Stefania Bosso, Giorgio Salimeni, Alessio Cupelli, Alessandro Zoboli, Valentina Sestrieri, Sveva Taverna, Luca Vianello, Bartolo Piccione (Koiné).