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Let the Sun Beheaded Be.

Photographs by Gregory Halpern. Text by Clément Chéroux. Conversation with Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa.
Aperture, New York, 2020. In English. 112 pp., 8¼x12".

Publisher's Description

In Let the Sun Beheaded Be, photographer Gregory Halpern focuses on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, a French overseas region with a complicated colonial history.

Renowned for his photographic meditations on place, Halpern presents a compelling new work, an extension of his characteristic attention to the way details of a landscape, and the people who inhabit it, often reveal undercurrents of local histories and experiences. A text by curator and editor Clément Chéroux grapples with the island’s history in relation to the French Revolution, Surrealism, and the Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, whose writing inspired the title of the book and many of the images inside; a conversation between Halpern and photographer and critic Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa considers Halpern’s process and personal history, as well as the politics of representation. Let the Sun Beheaded Be is both a thoughtful and visually striking depiction of place―shaped by the forces of natural and human history―and an engagement with the complexities of photographing as an interloper in a foreign land.

Let the Sun Beheaded Be is the most recent commission by Fondation de l’entreprise Hermès, working in alliance with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, for Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission. The program seeks to expand artistic dialogue between France and the US, while investing in creativity and providing a platform for artists to create major new bodies of work. An exhibition of Halpern’s work, curated by Chéroux, will open at SFMOMA on May 30, 2020; and at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, in fall 2020.

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