The Past is a Foreign Country

August 28—October 9, 2015

How is a country’s national story told through its architecture? When should the structures of the past be dispensed for the future? The Past is a Foreign Country is the first solo exhibition in North America by the Ivorian artist François-Xavier Gbré, whose photographs survey relics of the built environment, from the ruins of colonial-era monuments to the futurist symbols of the cosmopolitan city. The exhibition features site-specific installations of immersive wallpaper prints and a chronicle of more than fifty buildings and civic structures throughout West Africa and France. United by a methodical, often distanced perspective on architecture and landscape as a form of documentary evidence, Gbré’s images summon the personal experience of public space and the social aspirations encoded in concrete, rebar, clay, and dust.

Presented by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Tuttle Creative Residencies Program.


Gallery Talk with Curator Brendan Wattenberg and Artist François-Xavier Gbré
Friday, September 4, 2015
4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Opening Reception
Friday, September 4, 2015
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m

François-Xavier Gbré