Sept. 15, 2017 - Nov. 9, 2017

Claude Iverné: Bilad es Sudan

At Aperture Gallery

In 1999, Claude Iverné first set off along the Darb al Arba’ïn (Forty Days Trail), the ancient caravan route linking Egypt and the sultanate of Darfur. Ever since, Iverné has been working in the region, focusing on North Sudan in particular, wandering through the country to create a body of work. His photographs use an anthropological approach while simultaneously creating space for the viewer’s imagination.

In 2015, with the support of the HCB Award, Iverné continued his project, this time traveling through South Sudan. Bilad es Sudan records the precipitous transformation of South Sudan, mapping its historical details and contemporary landscape. This second phase mirrors his previous body of work, but while he depicted the North in black and white, the South is shown in color.

As a result of the political climate in South Sudan at the time, many Sudanese citizens fled to France. Iverné followed them there, exploring this journey from the nomadic tents and deserts of Sudan to the outskirts of French cities. Iverné’s photographs investigate the economic, cultural, and environmental changes of this country, concluding his Sudanese epic.

This exhibition, first shown at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, is one “draft” of this immense work, one of the strata of this collection, in collaboration with the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, partner of the HCB Award. The book Claude Iverné – Bilad es Sudan, published by Éditions Xavier Barral, accompanies the exhibition, providing a different reading, a transformed essay, a friable stone in the fragile edifice of history.

About the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports men and women seeking to learn, perfect, transmit, and explore the creative gestures that shape our lives today and into the future. Guided by our central focus on skills and innovation, the foundation’s activities follow two complementary paths: know-how and creativity, know-how and the transmission of skills.

The foundation develops its own programs in the contemporary visual arts (exhibitions and artists’ residencies), photography (Immersion), performing arts (New Settings), design (the Prix Émile Hermès), and craftsmanship (the Skills Academy), together with international calls for projects promoting biodiversity and solidarity. At the same time, we support the activities of organizations in these areas, around the world.

The Foundation’s unique, diverse activities are governed by a single, over-arching belief: Our gestures define us.


About the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès alliance with Aperture Foundation

In 2014, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès launched a program of photographers’ residencies and exchanges, exhibitions, and publications with Aperture Foundation in New York. The program marks the renewed commitment of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès to intervene upstream in the creative process, with support for the production of new photographic work, and a new partnership with a distinguished, internationally acclaimed photography institution.

About the Henri-Cartier Bresson Award

Awarded biennially by the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, the HCB Award is awarded by an international jury to an established photographer whose work demonstrates an essentially documentary focus, at a pivotal stage in his or her career. Candidates each submit a new photographic project to be assessed for a one-off grant of €35,000.

The HCB Award enables the winning artist to produce a new photographic work that cannot be realized without the support afforded by the grant. The resulting work is showcased in an exhibition and accompanying catalogue, at the HCB Foundation in Paris, within eighteen months of the presentation of the award.

Since 2013, the HCB Award is supported by the Hermès Foundation, which has forged an exclusive alliance with the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation.


Aperture’s exhibitions are also funded, in part, with support from the Grace Jones Richardson Trust, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

About the Artist

Claude Iverné (born 1963) lives and works in France. Trained in the world of fashion photography in Paris, London, and New York, Iverné worked with the most renowned names of the profession, including Pierre Cardin, Lord Snowdon, Paolo Roversi, David Bailey, and Albert Watson. Since his first trip to Sudan in 1999, Iverné has worked on the concepts of territory and identity, and on the codes and standards of representation that are linked to these notions. In 2003, he created the collective Elnour (The light), a research and documentation office where photographers, artists, scientists, and writers coexist and work on Sudan. He has exhibited at Rencontres d’Arles (2002); the United Nations, Khartoum, Sudan (2002); Maison des Métallos, Paris (2003, 2012); Centre Culturel Français, Khartoum, Sudan (2004); Musée Royal de Mariemont, Belgium (2007); Visa Pour l’Image (2007); Egyptian Cultural Center, Paris (2010); Musée Nicéphore Niépce (2016); and Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (2017).

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Opening Reception:

Thursday, September 14, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Claude Iverné in Conversation with Chris Boot:

Saturday, September 16, 3:00 P.M.

Aperture Gallery hours:

Monday–Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Closed Sunday