After conducting extensive documentary research on the complex history of Guadeloupe, Gregory Halpern (1977, United States) is undertaking three stays on the island, whose location “between the two Americas and Europe” is a source of fascination for the photographer. Halpern borrows the title of his exhibition from Soleil cou coupé, a collection of poems by Martinican author Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) which acts as a guide for his work as it develops through his observations and encounters. Visiting the island largely on foot, Halpern pays close attention to his surroundings in an approach reminiscent of the deambulation of the surrealists. He photographs what he sees, marveling at the exuberance of nature, creating uniquely intense portraits and registering the traces of a turbulent history. In doing so, he infuses his images with an uncanniness of the kind that animated the work of André Breton (1896-1966).
The in situ project culminates in a series of images entitled ‘Let the Sun Beheaded Be’, was presented at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris before travelling to the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) in the United States. A bilingual monograph of the same name will be published by Aperture to accompany the two exhibitions. The catalogue will feature an essay by Clément Chéroux, head curator of photography at SFMOMA and the mentor of this fourth edition of the Immersion programme.
Since 2015, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has supported the production of new photographic work through Immersion, a French-American Photographic Commission, a programme which takes the form of alternating residencies in France and the United States. At the end of each edition of the programme, an exhibition and a publication allow the artist laureates to share the work produced during Immersion with the wider public.