Malick Sidibé
Chemises
DePaul Art Museum, Chicago
March 29 - June 3rd

© Malick Sidibé

'A little more to the left, and higher. Stretch your arm away from your body. That’s it, now we can see it better.’ It seems possible to read the photographer’s cues in the pose assumed by the man, who came to the Studio Malick in Bagadadji, a suburb of Mali’s capital, Bamako to have his picture taken one day in July 1970 (second on the right). Aged about thirty, dressed in an immaculately white shirt and trousers, the man ostentatiously holdsup toward the camera a dark bottle without a cap and label. This seems to be the central object of the photograph: In order to present it, the exquisitely clothed man is willing to assume a stiff, almost strained, slightly bent posture, his left foot propped upon a tiered dais.

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