Paris Photo: A Tale of Two Grids

As part of its exploration of the photography of Africa, Paris Photo has given a large booth to the Walther Collection, a private German collection of more than 1,200 works primarily focusing on Africa and Asia.

One of my favorite single walls I've seen so far at Paris Photo is in the Walker Collection booth. On the left side of this wall is a grid of water towers by Bernd and Hilla Becher, the German husband and wife duo known for their rigorous formal studies of industrial structures, almost always displayed in typological grids:

John Mahoney

And immediately adjacent is another grid, this one a grouping of phototraphs by J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere. Ojeikere applies a similar rigid formalist take on the amazing braided hairstyles worn by women in his native Nigeria:

John Mahoney

It's a great linkage of the collection's German roots and their African interests.