Depara, Night & Day in Kinshasa, 1955-1965


Maison Revue Noire

12 Oct 2011 - 18 Feb 2012
Wed-Sat  1:00pm - 7:00pm

First retrospective of the photographer Jean Depara (1928-1997)


Each of these 150 photographies show the Leopoldville (later Kinshasa) bars/dancings crazy nights when the country access to the independance (1960). Everyone experiences those moments when the modern world finally becomes accessible to them, regardless of wether Black or white. In Leopoldville, later knows as Kinshasa, this is taken for the "American way of life", its cars and fashionablr Bills in cowboy outfits, the electric guitars, sax and the music that takes the cha cha cha and above all the rumba. The bands of young Kinshasans, each with their own distinctive attire and their female muses, attend frequently the inumerable bars/dancing halls, support a music band. Athletes, proud of their bodies, parade before their admirers at the pool of the Funa sports complex. That is the scenery and the lifestyle of wich the photographer Dapara make us partake with each one of his images.




PRESS RELEASE of the Exhibition Depara

EXHIBITIONS PROGRAMM 2011-2012 in Maison Revue Noire gallery



Exhibition in REVUE NOIRE gallery, Paris

Depara, Night & Day in Kinshasa, 1955-1965



Jean Depara joined in 1951 the capital of Belgian Congo, Léopoldville (then called Kinshasa) and saw various businesses: the Bata shoe factory, repairing watches and cameras ...
Depara is also a photographer with his camera Adox 6x6 and 6x8 bought for his wedding in 1950.
Day or night, from 1951 to 1975, Depara photographs atmosphere od dancing-bars and clubs but also athletes and gangs of well outfits youths named «sapeurs». The megalopolis Kinshasa is then the African city where the music is spreading across the continent and the world. He is the friend of all musicians and especially Franco, the future maestro of Zairean rumba, who asked in 1954 to be his appointed photographer.
And it’s the scenery and the life the photographer Depara share us in each of his images. He runs this universe in which he is himself one of the actors : with his camera, he is there as well as girls, lovers loving, musicians, bartenders alluring of the Kongo Bar or the Opika, the Champs-Elysées or La perruche Bleue.
In 1956, he opened a studio Depara humorously named «Jean Whisekys Depara» much to meet the demands for «complete» some operations of seduction. It will close in 1966 as his life, his pleasure to passing by outside photography with his friends, his buddies and his conquests. At that time, he lives comfortably, with convertible and villa.
In the 1970s, times are getting tougher. Depara do not like the «color images made without relief» he said. he does not like automatic photo labs that have invaded the place with prices lower and lower. And the dilettante Depara refuses this fight of small business week. In 1975, a period of «Zairianisation» of the country, many Europeans left the country and release positions. he then became a photographer lab parliament.
At age 50, another life begins for Depara. We can talk about the end of his youth: he puts his kindness in the service of companionship official photographers.
When Depara retired in 1989, he abandoned photography. In 1996, his photographs are published in the magazine Revue Noire on Kinshasa. he died a year later, leaving his photographs still dancing in the heart of the Congolese and the rest of the world.

Jean Loup Pivin & Pascal Martin Saint Leon


Biography

Jean DEPARA (his real name is Jean Lemvu later Aboubacar Lemvu after his conversion to islam)
Photographer in Léopoldville (later Kinshasa), Congo (later Zaïre, today Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC)

Born in 1928 in Kbokiolo (Angola)
Dead in 1997 Kinshasa (R.D.Congo)
work from 1951 to 1975 in Kinshasa (R.D.Congo, later Zaïre, Congo-Belge)

1948 : exile in Bas Congo.
1950 : married in Matidia and had the opportunity to buy a camera 6 x 6 Adox.
1951 : moved to Leopoldville (Kinshasa future) and saw photographs and various occupations: shoemaker Bata factory, repairing watches, clocks and cameras ...
1954 : the young singer Franco 18 years, future maestro of the Zairian rumba, asked him to follow him in his concerts to take his official photographs. Franco has just created a group that will be Ok Jazz for decades, until his death in 1989.
1954-1975 : day and night, Depara photographs the atmosphere of bars, dance halls and clubs as well as athletes or gangs of young engineers and Bills.
1956 : opens his photo studio "Jean Whisekys Depara" at 54 Kato street.
1966 : closes his studio to concentrate on his reporting.

Day or night, from 1954 to 1975, Depara photograph the atmosphere of bars, dance halls and clubs as well as athletes and bands of young "Sapeur" (Band of "bad boys" and fashion victim).
The
megalopolis is then the African city where the music is spreading across the continent and the world.

He is the friend of all the musicians and especially Franco, the future Zairian rumba maestro, who in 1954 asked to be his official photographer.
He runs the world in which he is himself one of the leaders: with his camera, he is there as well as girls, lovers loving, musicians, barmaids alluring of Kongo Bar or Opika, the Champs-Elysées and La Peruche Bleue.
It is the scenery
and the life shared in each of its images.


In 1956 he opens a studio Depara humorously called the "Jean Whisekys Depara" less to photo demands for "complete" operations of seduction.
He closed it in 1966 as his life, his pleasure to photograph pass from the outside with his friends, his friends and his conquests. At that time, he lives comfortably with convertible car and villa.

In the 1970s
, time gets more difficult. Depara do not like the color "images made without relief," he said.
He does not like
automatic photo labs that have invaded the place with prices lower and lower. As dilettante Depara refuse this fight small-time business.

In 1975
, period of "Zairianization" of the country, many Europeans left the country and release positions. It is then lab photographer of Parliament.

At 50, a new life begins for Depara. We can say the end of his youth: he put his kindness to the service of companionship official photographers. When Depara retired in 1989, he abandoned photography.
In 1996, his photographs are published in the magazine Revue Noire in Kinshasa. He died a year later, leaving his photographs still dancing in the heart of the Congolese and the rest of the world.

In 2011
, the gallery Revue Noire presents his first retrospective of 150 photographic prints "DEPARIS, NIGHT & DAY IN KINSHASA, 1955-1965".

Jean Loup Pivin & Pascal Martin Saint Leon

Expo Depara en 2011, Revue Noire galerie, Paris



Biographie

Jean DEPARA
(official name Jean Lemvu, and after as musulman Aboubacar Lemvu)
Photographer in Léopoldville (later Kinshasa), Congo-Belge later Zaïre, today DRCongo (Democratic Republic of Congo)

born in 1928 in Kbokiolo (Angola)
deceased in 1997 Kinshasa (D.R.Congo)
active from 1954 to 1975 in Kinshasa (D.R.Congo)

1948 : exile in Bas Congo.
1950 : he married in Matidi and buyed a photo camera Adox 6 x 6.
1951 : moved in Léopoldville (after named Kinshasa). He begun to photograph and worked other jobs in Bata shoe factory, repairing watches, clocks and cameras...
1954 : the young singer 18 years Franco, the future of the Zairian rumba maestro, asked him to follow him in his concerts to take his official photographs. Franco has just created the group "Ok Jazz" for decades, until his death in 1989.
1954-1975 : Day and night Depara photographed the atmosphere of bars, dance halls and clubs as well as athletes or youth gangs fire and Bills.
1956 : Opened his photo studio  “Jean Whisekys Depara” at 54 rue Kato in Kinshasa.
1966 : closed his studio to concentrate on his outside reporting.
1975-1989 : employee and official photographer attached to the Parliament.
1989 : retired and gave up photography.
1996 : First book of his photographs by revue Noire.
1997 : died in Kinshasa.

***

Bibliography

“Depara”, collection PhotoBolsillo, text by Pascal Martin Saint Leon et Jean Loup Pivin, publishing by Revue Noire (France) and La Fabrica, Paris-Madrid, 2010.
Exhibit catalogue “A useful dream, african photography 1960-2010”, Musée des Bozarts de Bruxelles. Curator Simon Njami.
“C magazine N°5”, Jean Depara, André Magnin, publishing by Ivory Press 2007.
Exhibit catalogue “100% Africa”, publishing by TF Editores et FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, 2006.
Exhibit catalogue “African Art Now, Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection”, by André Magnin, publishing by Merrell, 2005.
“L’Afrique par elle-même”, curaby N’Goné Fall, publishing by Revue Noire Editions, Paris 2001.
Catalogue  of Rencontres de la Photographie de Bamako, “Mémoires Intimes d’un Nouveau Millénaire - Intimates Memories of the New Millenium”, curator Simon Njami, publishing by Edition Eric Koehler 2001.
Exhibit catalogue “Africa Inside”, Noorderlicht photofestival, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherland 2001.
“Anthology of African Photography” by Pascal Martin Saint Leon, N’Goné Fall, Simon Njami, Jean Loup Pivin, publishing by Revue Noire and DAP Editions, Paris-New York 1999
“Anthologie de la Photographie africaine et de l’Océan indien” by Pascal Martin Saint Leon, N’Goné Fall, Simon Njami, Jean Loup Pivin, publishing by Revue Noire Editions, Paris 1998.
“Kinshasa”, Revue Noire magazine N°21, publishing by Revue Noire Editions, Paris 1996.

***

Solo Exhibitions

2011 : "Depara, Night & Day in Kinshasa, 1955-1965" first retrospective of 150 original prints, Revue Noire gallery, Paris
           Depara photo works present at Paris Photo in Grand-Palais, Paris 09-13 nov 2011, stand Revue Noire A43
           and in the private VIP galleries tour of the Close Up program.
2009 : “Les nuits de Kinshasa, Jean Depara, 1955-1975”, Rencontres de la Photographie de Bamako, commissaires Pascal Martin Saint Leon, Francis        Articlaut, Jean Loup Pivin, Mali.
1998 : Galerie Jean Marc Patras, Paris

Collective Exhibitions

2010 : A useful dream, african photography 1960-2010, Commissaire Simon Njami, Musée des Bozarts de Bruxelles.
2007 : “Le rituel de la pose” Musée des Arts derniers, Paris, France.
2006-2007 : “100% Africa”, commissaire André Magnin, Guggenheim Museum de Bilbao, Espagne.
2005 : “Arts of Africa”, commissaire André Magnin, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
2002 : Centre de la photographie Genève, commissaire André Magnin Pigozzi Collection, Suisse.
2001 : Photographes de Kinshasa, commissaire N’Goné Fall Mali, Rencontres de la Photographie de Bamako, Mali.
2000 : Noorderlicht 2000 photofestival, Fries Museum Leeuwarden, Pays-Bas.
2000 : “Africa Past-Present”, Seydou Keita, P.K. Apagya, Jean Depara, Cornélius Aaugustt Azaglo and Ojeikere, Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery, Anvers, Belgique.
1998-2001 : “L’Afrique par elle-même” - "Africa by Africans", Tour exposition by Revue Noire (Maison européenne de la Photographie, Paris ; Pinacotteca de São Paulo, Brésil ; South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Afrique du Sud ; Rencontres de la Photo à Bamako, Mali ;
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Allemagne ;
Barbican Museum, Londres, UK ;
Anacostia Museum, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, USA ;
New African Museum, New York, USA ;
Bologne, Italie ;
Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgique.

 
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