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Del Vaz Projects is pleased to announce its participation in Paris Avant-Première with a solo exhibition by American photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya. The exhibition will be hosted by David Giroire in the Jardin du Palais-Royal at 11 bis, rue Beaujolais Paris 75001.

A preview cocktail will be held Thursday, October 11th from 6PM-9PM followed by a public reception Friday, October 12th from 2PM-10PM. Visits thereafter by appointment until Saturday, October 20th.

Paris Avant-Première, an initiative organized by Daniele Balice, Robbie Fitzpatrick and Edouard Montassut, brings together a group of young galleries and independent spaces to Paris from October 12th-October 14th. Sepuya’s work will also be on view at FIAC from October 18th-21st at DOCUMENT booth G04.

For his solo project at Del Vaz, Paul Mpagi Sepuya presents a series of photo-proof collages made during a recent residency at Lightworks in Syracuse, New York. “The suggestive and overlapping meanings in the term “darkroom” lie at the center of my current work. It is both the historical origin of the photographer’s craft as well as the privileged yet marginalized site of queer and colored sexuality and socialization. The black velvet backdrop of the photographer’s studio not only grounds the subject in front of it, but creates an anterior space of another potential encounter. Within my photographs I inhabit the obscuring fabric, or my stand-in is a glimpse of the camera or tripod in reflection. My hands touch, manipulate and adjust. I move from in front of the camera to behind it and reflected in the mirror. My body and the black figure of the camera-tripod throw into relief the latent bodily accumulations on the mirror’s surface. I am interested in inhabiting an ambiguous place within these photographs. My role as photographer is one of negotiation - oscillating between the precision of the photographic apparatus and loss of rationality within erotic excess.” – Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, where he received an MFA in photography at UCLA in 2016. From 2000 – 2014 Sepuya resided in New York City, receiving a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. He is a recipient of the 2017 Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s grant for Los Angeles artists.

Sepuya’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, among others. Recent solo exhibitions include “Double Enclosure” at Fotomuseum, Amsterdam; “Dark Room” at Document Gallery, Chicago; “Dark Room” at team (bungalow), Los Angeles and “Figures, Grounds and Studies” at Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York City. Recent group exhibitions include “Being: New Photography2018” at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” at The New Museum, New York; “This is Not a Prop” at David Zwirner Gallery New York City and “Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Way Forward” at ICA Philadelphia.

This marks the second Paris exhibition for Del Vaz Projects, the first being Tulipomania with artists Michael Assiff, Pierre Banchereau / Debeaulieu, Will Benedict & Sergei Tcherepnin, Julien Ceccaldi, Sterling Crispin, Valerie Keane, Francis Picabia and Man Ray, hosted by Daniele Balice in his Paris apartment in May 2015.

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