Good Hope • Carla Liesching
Shortlisted for the Paris Photo–Aperture PhotoBook Awards 2022
October 2021, OTA bound paperback with flaps, 6 x 8 inches, 192 pages, MACK.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In Good Hope, Carla Liesching constructs 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, along with sources ranging from apartheid-era trade journals, tourist pamphlets, and National Geographic and Life 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.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Carla Liesching is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, writing, collage, sculpture, bookmaking and design. Grounded in experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa, she considers the intersections of representation, knowledge and power, with a focus on colonial histories and enduring constructions of race and geography. Carla’s ongoing project, Good Hope, was published by MACK in November 2021, and was shortlisted for the Arles 2022 Prix du Livre in the Photo-Text Category. An excerpt from Good Hope is also featured in a forthcoming title, On Whiteness, by SPBH Editions. Carla was a 2021 winner of the Open Walls Arles competition presented by The British Journal of Photography and exhibited work during 2021 and 2022 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 Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, USA. Carla was recently named a 2022 Foam Talent, with upcoming exhibitions at Foam Museum in Amsterdam, the Deutsche Börse Foundation in Frankfurt, along with a solo exhibition of Good Hope at PhMuseum in Bologna, Italy. Carla lives between South Africa and New York, where she works as Associate Professor in the Art, Art History and Architecture Department at Ithaca College; as faculty at the International Center of Photography; and as coordinator of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University. As part of her socially engaged practice, Carla is also a youth educator focused on image-making, visual literacy and self-publishing as vehicles for expression and empowerment.