Good Hope By Carla Liesching - PhMuseum Days

Good Hope

Carla Liesching

Good Hope - Carla Liesching
Good Hope - Carla Liesching
Good Hope - Carla Liesching
Good Hope - Carla Liesching
Good Hope - Carla Liesching

Exhibition Details:

Good Hope is a fragmented visual and textual assemblage that orbits around the gardens and grounds at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa — a historic location at the height of Empire, now an epicenter for anti-colonial resistance movements, and also the place of the artist’s birth.

Named by the Portuguese in their ‘Age of Discovery’, the Cape’s position at the mid-point along the ‘Spice Route’ was viewed with great optimism for its potential to open up a valuable maritime passageway. The ‘refreshment station’ later established there set into motion flows of capital from ‘east’ to ‘west’. Good Hope brings together cumulative layers of documentary prose, personal essay, and found photographic material, with sources ranging from apartheid-era trade journals, tourist pamphlets, and magazines, to contemporary newspapers and family albums.

It offers both an intimate and critical examination of White supremacist settler-colonialism in the present, and a questioning of the ethics and politics involved in the very acts of looking, discovering, collecting, codifying, preserving, naming, knowing, and putting to language.

Photographer's Bio:

(South Africa, 1985) Liesching is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, writing, collage, sculpture, bookmaking and design. Grounded in experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa, her work considers the intersections of representation, knowledge and power, with a focus on colonial histories and enduring constructions of race and geography. A central concern in her practice is photography’s role in the building of social, political and ideological systems, and she uses photographic archives as sites of investigation and intervention. Carla’s current project, Good Hope, was released as a full-length book of image and text by London-based publisher Mack in November 2021. Carla was a 2021 winner of the Open Walls Arles competition presented by The British Journal of Photography, and exhibited work during the 2021 Rencontres d’Arles Festival. She is a 2021 Light Work Grant recipient and is the 2022 recipient of the Silver Eye Fellowship, culminating in a photo-sculptural installation at the Silver Eye Institute. Carla was recently named a 2022 Foam Talent and awarded publication in Foam Magazine’s Talent issue, along with upcoming exhibitions at Foam Museum in Amsterdam and the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation in Frankfurt. Carla is currently based between South Africa and New York, where she works as faculty at the International Center of Photography and coordinates the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University.

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