François-Xavier Gbré graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA) in Montpellier, France, in 2002. After training with established fashion and design photographers, Gbré began working with photography to interpret African narratives through portraiture and urban design. Many of Gbré’s works capture the moments before, or during, great change. In his ongoing series, Tracks, Gbré traces the complexities of global politics and colonial histories ingrained within the concrete of architectural ruins. In photographing utopian housing blocks and sites of former bureaucracies, now rendered obsolete, Gbré documents the structural casualties of conflict and abandonment, thus recognising collective histories and vestigial legacies.
Gbré’s solo exhibition The Past is Foreign Country took place at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College in Haverford, USA, in 2015. Group exhibitions include Rencontres Picha – Biennale de Lubumbashi in Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2013; and the Biennale Regard Bénin in Cotonou; and We Face Forward at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, UK, both 2012.