Description - A Passage to Congo by Pierre Loos
"A Passage to Congo" is a collection of photographs taken by Doctor Emile Muller (1891-1976) in the Congo provinces of the Kasai and Katanga, territories of the Chokwe, Luba, Bashibushong and Basalampasu tribes. For these people, he was not the "boss", but he who cured, who gave relief, who listened. He could move easily between the tribes without having to tackle the reticence that has denatured so many ethnic photographs. The privileged witnesses of esoteric ceremonies that are rarely photographed, his images are precious from an ethnographic and historical point of view, and reveal a fine aesthetic sense and profound humanity. Veritable living masks, as in the remarkable portraits of young Chokwe girls, astonishing initiation rites, scenes of divination, wild rhythmic dances responding to the beat of the large slotted drums, sculptural bodies decorated with tattoos and refined headgear recall the beauty and riches of these cultures, now lost in the modern world.Although some of Muller's negatives have survived over the years without excessive suffering, most were damaged. Numerous details had become indecipherable.
Pierre Loos, who initiated the project, decided that a careful restoration had become vital. This was entrusted to Pierre Buch, a specialist in digital processes, who scanned the glass plates and films, restored the digital files, prepared the images for this edition and produced enlargements on art paper for a travelling exhibition.
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(285mm x 245mm x 19mm)
Five Continents Editions
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Book Reviews - A Passage to Congo by Pierre Loos
Author Biography - Pierre Loos
Emile Muller left for the Congo in 1923 to work as a doctor. He was initially employed by a mining company in the Kasai, then by a railway company in Katanga. In 1928, he arrived at Tshikapa (south-western Kasai), where he was responsible for public health until 1938.Pierre Loos has been active as a collector and dealer in African Art since 1969. He was initiator and President of the Brussels Non European Art Fair (BRUNEAF) from 1983-2003. He published his famous Zagourski collection and organised a major travelling exhibition of the original vintage photographs.Pierre Buch was licensed in law at Brussels University, and taught history of law before becoming a photographer for Belgian archeological teams in Central America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He is also the Publisher of Buch Edition.