The Howard Greenberg Gallery recently presented a viewing room exhibition of the work from Pieter Henket’s Congo Tales. Pieter’s series explores the cultural mythologies of the local inhabitants of the Congo Basin, containing some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world. The 2017 series has rarely been exhibited, and this is the first time the work is on view through a U.S. gallery.
From the Howard Greenberg Gallery press release:
In 2015, shortly after agreeing to collaborate with Tales of Us, Henket travelled to the Mbomo region to find his bearings and to develop some understanding of what working in that landscape would entail. Alongside Eva Vonk, a Dutch producer; Steve Regis “Kovo” N’Sondé, a Congolese artist and philosopher; and his brother Wilfried N’Sondé, a Congolese writer and musician, Henket developed relationships with the people of the region, collecting and organizing stories, which, historically, had only been communicated and passed along through oral tradition. Once the selection of stories had been made, Henket and the team worked with the villagers to determine which scenes and details to emphasize most in their photographic re-telling.
Over a period of 17 days in November of 2017, Henket, with the villagers as the actors, created multi-image representations of their stories, which communicate cosmic meaning and situational morality in equal measure. Whether needing to work in a remote terrain or deep in the rainforest, the stories were all treated with great sensitivity, and re-created through Henket’s intricately structured and richly-lit photographic tableaux.
More info on the book and where to purchase it is below.