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Reimagining the Image: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Date Mar 06, 2019
Type Lecture

Join Los Angeles–based photographer and installation artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya for an evening presentation of his recent work. In his practice, Sepuya interrogates the production of portraiture in the artist’s studio as a site of homoerotic social relations, and explores the potential of blackness in the space of the “dark room.” Inviting close friends—all male—into his studio, Sepuya underscores the intimacy of photography, often including his own image in his portraits. In collaged and sculpture-based photographs, he deconstructs traditional portrait photography, allowing bodies and affective relations to be seen in new light.

About Reimagining the Image

This series examines film, photography, and new media from the artist’s perspective. Taking lens-based work as a starting point, Reimagining the Image invites in imagemakers who pose new questions about the social function of photography, use alternative and emerging practices, and ask critical questions about the form.


Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) is a Los Angeles–based artist working in photography. His work emerged within the queer zine scene of the 2000s, and was most recently shown in Being: New Photography 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art and a solo museum exhibition, Double Enclosure, at FOAM Amsterdam. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art,  the Guggenheim Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and MOCA Los Angeles, among others. Sepuya is currently visiting artist faculty at California Institute of the Arts and Bard Summer MFA Program. Upcoming exhibitions include The Conditions at team (gallery, inc.), New York (March 7, 2019) and Paul Mpagi Sepuya at CAM St. Louis (May 2019).