This Synthetic Moment
curated by David Hartt
with James Barnor, Zoe Leonard, Liz Johnson Artur, Kwame Brathwaite, David Hartt and Christopher Williams
David Nolan Gallery, NY, January 18 – March 10, 2018
"A picture of one woman looking at another, a portrait of a man holding a camera, a portrait of several women in a schoolyard, a picture of a dancer recumbent, and a picture of several ships.
A crisis of borders, a fold in time, a rupture in space. An assertion of gradience.
I was having a hard time describing how I was feeling and then Thomas said "synthetic" and it stuck in my mind. I wanted something porous, a polymeric structure where the voice, agency, geography, and temporality of others collude to produce a more compelling version of the world. Brixton, Los Angeles, Accra, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, etc., spinning a new distributed off-axis center. (...)
VOTE / EXHIBITION
Liz' exhibition as part of her nomination for the Aimia/Ago Photography Prize has just opened on Thursday 6th of September at AGO in Toronto. You can view installations shots below and at https://www.aimiaagophotographyprize.com/artists/liz-johnson-artur . While the four nominees had been picked by a small jury, the prize winner will be chosen by the public, while visiting in person and online!
It would be great if you could support Liz if you like her work.
You can vote here https://www.aimiaagophotographyprize.com/vote
Spread the word!
LIZ JOHNSON ARTUR SHORTLISTED FOR AIMIA I AGO Photography Prize 2017
It has just been announced that Liz is one of 4 artists who have been shortlisted for this year's Aimia I Ago prize! Her work will be exhibited along side the other nominees in September and the public can choose the winner on the spot or online from September 13.
Come back for more informations regarding voting and the exhibition!
THIS LONG CENTURY
Liz' work is featured on the Jason Evan's great This Long Century project blog. Check it out!
Johnson Artur's monograph included in New York Times list
What a great way to end this year!
The Fader talks to Johnson Artur about her work and recent monograph, Nov 2016
"In her new untitled photography book, Liz Johnson Artur manages to capture compelling nuances of blackness. Instead of perpetuating oversaturated narratives centered around black plight, The Russian-Ghanaian artist highlights friendship, family, and love. Artur presents the beauty in the normalcy of life in over 25 years of rich photographs taken in London, Paris, New York, different countries in Africa, and the Caribbean that thread together diverse experiences of black people around the world.
There's a sense of intimacy from the way Artur approaches her work — in images of parties, she depicts the spirit of the dance floor and when black men and boys are her subjects, they appear majestic and free. Last month, The FADER spoke with Artur over email about how she started taking photos for the book and why it's important to offer a diverse representation of the African Diaspora."
Find the full feature HERE
A Thousand and X Little Actions
with Liz Johnson Artur (GHA/RU), Jacob Holdt (DK), David Hartt (CAN), William E. Jones (US), Jason Larkin (UK)
Lothringer 13 Halle/Room Munich, 8. 10. – 27. 11. 2016
For “A Thousand and X Little Actions,” Jörg Koopmann has invited artists, whose work is shaped by a critical, sensitive confrontation with existing relationships and whose attitude reflects a curiosity towards humankind and an openness toward their subjects: Five artists, working across borders, who closely examine diverse identities and their stereotypes and expand upon them, without romanticizing anything in the process.
The starting point is the recently published book by Liz Johnson Artur, informed by her Russian-German-British-Bulgarian-Ghanaian upbringing. In Lothringer13 Halle, Liz Johnson Artur lays out her “Black Balloon Archive” for the first time, a dense compendium of her work over the last 30 years, full of empathetic examinations of her environment. Liz describes her motivation regarding her archive as follows:
“I’m interested in normality. I observe the basic things that are individual yet common to us all – for example, gestures, body language, emotions. I know that sounds clichéd. You could say, normal is boring, but normal is what a lot of people need in order to simply be a part of something. Because if you take that away from them and always put them in the cool, the colorful, the poor or the religious corner, then they are simply there, and the entire picture will never really change.”
Find more info HERE
ID Magazine, Oct 2016
On the occasion of Johnson Artur's slide show exhibiton See Me Here! at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, Niamh McIntyre spoke to Liz about here work and inspirations.
"For me, taking portraits is a very personal, one-on-one experience", Liz says. "It's a collaboration, even if it's only a very brief encounter."
find the full feature HERE
See Me Here! A unique night photographic installation
Black Cultural Archives Brixton, 23.09. - 29.09.2016
Johnson Artur exhibited a slide reel of visual and audio work captured in South London from her Black Balloon Archive. The installation was on view in the evening hours between 23.09 and 29.09. and coincided with Afropunk London.
(project in conjunction with Dean Ricketts, The Watch-Men Agency)
1.-3. Person plural: wir, ihr, sie
Kunstverein Leipzig, 20.08. - 06.09.16
wir, ihr, sie is the second part of the exhibition 1.-3. Person singular/plural, curated by Anna Voswinckel at the Kunstverein Leipzig. This part was dealing with questions of identity and socialization. Family, community rituals, visual practices of affiliation and othering were being examined. The works on display were characterized by a search for breakups and bordercrossings, and a practice of participant observation and artistic research.
Artur Johnson included 13 images, which can be seen in a full installation view HERE.
Brief Encounters: An interview with Liz Johnson Artur
Karen McQuaid, senior curator at The Photographers’ Gallery, has interviewed Liz Johnson-Artur, as she is one of the artists featured in their current exhibition Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity. This interview, along with other writings and images on dandyism and black masculinity, is available in the new issue of Loose Associations, a quarterly publication on photography and image culture, published by The Photographers' Gallery.
Find the interview HERE.
Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity
The Photographer's Gallery, London, 15.7. - 25.9.
The Photographer's Gallery has chosen 12 images of Johnson Artur's Black Balloon Archive to include in their group exhibition this summer, curated by Ekow Eshun. Other photographer presented are Malick Sidibé, Jeffrey Henson Scales, Samuel Fosso and others. As the gallery noted:
"The Photographers’ Gallery presents Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity, a group exhibition exploring the identity of the black dandy as performed in studio and street photographs from London to New York to Bamako. In the early 21st century, black men are influential trendsetters in fashion, music and culture. This increased prominence however, has not had an impact on the state of high vulnerability still experienced by black men - as illustrated by disproportionate rates of incarceration the UK and USA. Dandyism, with its emphasis on dress and flamboyance, is examined as radical personal politics and a provocative counter to stereotypical representations and physical objectification of black masculinity. This exhibition seeks to consciously problematise ideas of a male identity through dress and deportment that is arresting, tantalising, louche, camp and gloriously assertive."
more infos: The Photographer's Gallery