I feel calmed when I look at these photos… as if entering a cathedral.
The photographs by Maïmouna Guerresi are monumental: triptychs ten metres wide portraying forms that tower, commanding us as we stand before them. But even on my small computer screen, these figures loom. What species of creature is this? Not god, but not human.
Guerresi calls this series “Giants.” Protection, nurturance, guidance: these aren’t offered by the figures that hover. But nor is hostility. These figures elude our definition—though their gaze falls steady on us.
“Streets are startlingly quiet,” Guerresi writes from Turin. “The emergency has truncated our everyday mobility. But in the essential movement, we can still find visual poems that console the spirit.”
Maïmouna Guerresi is an Italian-Senegalese artist. She’s represented by the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago.
April 15, 2020