Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault’s Algeria will be on view at the Tang Teaching Museum through April 23. The exhibition features a series of large, panoramic landscapes of Algeria created during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by French photography Alexandre Bougault.
The images recall the French Romantic Orientalist vision at first glance, but this project invites a new reading of the photographs. The photographs feature stoic Arabian Camels, large groups of cloaked figures kneeling in prayer, women gathering water in a desert oasis – but this exhibit goes deeper to explore how “identity, loss, presence, and power shape the complex relations between the Algerian terrain and its inhabitants.” According to a statement by the museum, “The landscapes can be seen to reveal a series of paradoxes, making visible the conundrum of European Imperialism – the desire to modernize a ‘primitive’ land, while at the same time longing to experience and represent it as untouched by Western modernization.”
Tour the Exhibit with Curator Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe
Experience the exhibit with a special tour on Wednesday, April 1 at noon (free and open to the public).