Distance & Desire: Encounters with the African Archive

Colleagues from The Walther Collection will present “Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive,” a major exhibition program focusing on late nineteenth/early twentieth century African photography, from September 13, 2012 to May 18, 2014 in New York and Neu-Ulm, Germany. “Distance and Desire” unfolds in a three-part cycle of exhibitions examining historic photographs from Southern Africa as well as contemporary photography and video by artists engaging with archival imagery and its construction of the African body. Coinciding with the exhibition cycle, The Walther Collection, in collaboration with New York University and University College London, will present a symposium to explore issues raised by the collection’s archive of African photography on Saturday, November 10 at New York University’s Silver Center. The exhibitions will feature rarely seen vintage portraits and figure studies, albums, cartes de visite and books, as well as recent works by contemporary artists including Santu Mofokeng, Zanele Muholi and Pieter Hugo. For more information, please visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/art-history/events/encounters-african-archive-2012.

Photo credit: Unknown photographer, Elizabeth and Jan van der Merwe, Johannesburg, ca. 1900s from Santu Mofokeng, “The Black Photo Album / Look at Me,” 1997; Zanele Muholi, Ms Le Sishi I, Glebelands, Durban, from “Beulahs,” 2010; Unknown photographer, Portrait of Kgama III, South Africa, early 20th century portrait of Kgama III South Africa, early twentieth century