The photographic series “Léopard“, shot by Émilie Régnier on the roads from Texas to Libreville is a study of the history and symbolism of the famous animal print. It will be shown at ONOMO Dakar Hotel, May 3 – 23, 2018, during the 13th Dakar Biennale. This exhibit is curated by AKAA in partnership with ONOMO Hotel Dakar.
“This series began with a fortuitous meeting, when I was in residence in Paris as part of the Canada Council’s Fellowship and Research Grants. In search of new models at the exit of the metro Château-Rouge, I met a lady who accepted to join me later for a photo shoot. On this occasion, the woman dressed in a boubou with a leopard pattern; she was astonishing in her candid originality. The image of this woman inhabited me for days onwards. As I travelled through Paris, I suddenly became aware of the popularity of the animal print. It was worn everywhere and by everyone, in the working- class district of Château Rouge, the fashion area of Saint Germain des Prés, as in the residential 16th arrondissement.
This encounter with the leopard made me re ect on photographs taken during the colonial era, portraits of African kings wearing leopard. The universality of this motif appeared as a language I wanted to decipher through my lens. I started to explore its history and symbolism, which vary according to the country, the subjects and the events. (…)
Each subject photographed in this “leopard“ series reveals a different use and vision of the print and fur. The eccentricity inherent to this pattern makes each one unique and atypical. They are different and assured in their desire to show the world their personalities and uniqueness, regardless of origin, location, ethnicity. The leopard has become a unique, yet globally binding statement upon which to advance the conversation about what connects us as human beings despite our diverse ethnic, social or cultural backgrounds”- Émilie Régnier
Émilie Regnier is a Canadian Haitian photographer born in Canada in 1984, and spent her childhood in Africa, mainly Gabon. In 2008 she moved to Dakar, Senegal where she was based until 2015. Now her work is taking place between Europe and Africa and she is currently based in Paris. Regnier has worked in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and throughout Africa. Her work has appeared in numerous international publications such as Le Monde, Le Monde Magazine, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, International Courier, The New Yorker, Foam and as been exhibited in Amsterdam, Dubaï, Milano, Paris, New York, Toronto, Lagos among many others.